ECDE Teachers Defy Governors: Advocating for Respect and Fairness

In a bold move, Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teachers are standing up against the recent decision by governors to reject the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), which proposed placing the ECDE sub-sector under the national government.

Led by the Kenya Union of Pre-Primary Education Teachers (KUNOPPET), officials, including the National Chairman Lawrence Otunga, addressed the press in Nairobi today to express their strong opposition to the governors’ stance. The teachers assert that county governments have been mistreating ECDE teachers for an extended period, and they are determined not to let this continue.

Lawrence Otunga, the National Chairman of KUNOPPET, highlighted several concerns during the press conference. He pointed out that some counties are paying ECDE teachers meager salaries, and the scheme of service is not consistently implemented across all counties. Otunga emphasized that it is crucial for teachers to be respected, especially considering their qualifications, with some being over-qualified for their roles.

Furthermore, Otunga stressed the importance of governors respecting the recommendations of the PWPER, which gathered input from various stakeholders across the country. He criticized specific counties, including Vihiga, Kitui, Murang’a, and West Pokot, for their mistreatment of teachers. In response to these issues, Otunga advocated for the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to take over the employment of ECDE teachers, asserting that governors have turned the hiring process into a political tool.

Otunga accused governors of diverting funds meant for ECDE to other projects, such as bursaries and school feeding programs, which fall under the purview of the national government. Rejecting the PWPER recommendations, according to Otunga, implies an act of sabotage against the President of the Republic of Kenya.

This development sets the stage for a potential power struggle between ECDE teachers, represented by KUNOPPET, and the governors advocating for continued control over the ECDE sub-sector at the county level. As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how the national government and relevant education authorities will respond to the teachers’ demands for fair treatment and respect in their profession.

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