On Friday, a meeting of the Teachers Pressure Group (TPG) in Nairobi was disrupted by those who said they had been ordered to do so.
A group of roughly five men dressed in T-shirts similar to those worn by TPG members stormed the Professional Centre near the Parliament Building in Nairobi, ordering the teachers to disperse.
The five claimed they were sent to disperse the teachers by a “Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) official.”
“This meeting must end now, this business has to stop immediately,” shouted the leader of the group as he grabbed the TPG’s banner.
The ‘hired goons,’ as the teachers depicted them, escaped on boda bodas.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Knut were accused of intimidation by TPG members.
“The men were hired to disrupt our meeting, they were sent to cause chaos so that they can blame it on us,” said a teacher who had attended the presser.
TPG Teachers Transferred
Knut Secretary-General Collins Oyuu was also accused by the teachers of orchestrating their transfers in order to silence them.
The teachers, who were all wearing black T-shirts with the words “resist TPD” on them, had planned to protest the recently implemented Teacher Professional Development (TPD), which obliged them to attend training during the school holidays.
Teachers would be forced to pay Sh6,000 annually and renew their teaching license every five years, according to TSC. Mr Oyuu denied initiating any teacher transfers in an interview with Nation.Africa on Friday.
He claimed that teacher transfer is solely a TSC mandate and that it has nothing to do with it.
“It is wrong to malign this office (Knut), what is the need of me to send people to go and disrupt a meeting I knew nothing about, I have no business in engaging in such sideshows,” Mr Oyuu said.
Oyuu stated that the instructors should use the proper channels to express their opinions; such as to engage the employer on teacher-related matters.”
“I cannot fight for teachers who are going everywhere in the media and the social media showing disrespect to the employer,” said Mr Oyuu.
“How can I engage the employer on their behalf if a teacher cannot be controlled by the employer?” he continued. If somebody believes their transfer is retaliatory, they should contact Knut, and we’ll discuss it with TSC.”
Mr. Oyuu stated that instructors should seek professional counsel on how to deal with their problems, as revolting against the employer could be harmful to them.
“A year ago, we lost some 245 teachers through interdiction after they failed to consider advice and instead went ahead to protest against the Competency Based-Curriculum (CBC), some of them are now regretting,” said Mr Oyuu.
As of Friday, he claimed, no transferred teachers had reported to him or sought assistance from the union.
“That group is not registered and therefore they do not represent teachers, let all teachers come to us for help. I cannot speak for people who have not reached out to us,” he said.