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Primary and secondary schools to re-open on January 3, 2019

With a teachers’ strike looming large, the Education ministry has rescheduled the reopening of schools from January 2 to January 3.

Basic Education Director Elyas Abdi on Monday said the extension of the opening date by 24 hours was to allow teachers and learners time to travel to their work stations.

“The purpose of this circular is to therefore inform you that all pre-primary schools, primary schools, secondary schools and teacher training colleges will now open for first term 2019 on January3,” said Mr Abdi in a circular to directors of education across the country.

The announcement comes hours after Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) dismissed calls to call off a planned teachers’ job boycott.

In a letter to Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani dated December 22, 2018, Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has historically demonstrated blatant disrespect to conciliators appointed by the ministry.

“Last year on March 18, you appointed one Mrs Maneno to conciliate on the same issues before you but TSC outright rubbished the process,” said Mr Sossion in the letter.

He said the “impunity at play at TSC” cannot give any conciliation process reasonable space to deliver, adding that the matter has been before conciliation at the ministry and has gone beyond any conciliation.

“We demand immediate stoppage of the massive delocalisation of all 3,094 teachers countrywide as a precondition of any engagement with us,” said Mr Sossion.

He said families of the affected teachers are hurting seriously from the “inhumane action” taken by TSC, yet there was a presidential directive on the matter.

“Further, note that we did not register a trade dispute to warrant a conciliator. We have issued a strike notice,” added Mr Sossion.

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