Stop Denying Teachers Freedom Of Worship: KNUT Warns TSC
Kenya National Union of Teachers, (KNUT) National treasurer John Matiang’i has hit on the teachers’ service Commission for denying teachers their freedom of worship. He called upon the clergy and MPs to speak out against the move since it is very unconstitutional.
“Church leaders and politicians should not be mute leaving their members at the mercy of employees busy in defying the Constitution. Teachers are denied an opportunity to worship on their preferred days because they must attend trainings on weekends. Like now, we have been forced to do elections on Saturday and Sunday when we are supposed to be in church. We cannot accept to work on weekends” he noted,” Matiang’i said.
According to Matiang’i, TSC knows the gazetted official working hours and should therefore stop interfering with the social activities of teachers.
“The official working hours have been gazetted by the Ministry of Education. It is wrong to subject teachers to training when they are supposed to carry out their social activities.”
Matiang’i, who spoke at Gusii Stadium on Sunday when he presided over branch elections, also noted, that the Teachers Service Commission’s move to ban teachers from attending trainings, elections and other activities on weekdays is illegal.
The VC was referring to a TSC circular directing agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations undertaking educational tasks that require teacher participation to schedule them to weekends and school holidays.
He also accused TSC of threatening teachers not to participate in politics, saying teachers too have a right to elect leaders.
“It is our right as citizens to elect political leaders. The intimidation has to come to an end. There is religious liberty all over the World. TSC has now become a rogue commission that is implementing illegal policies and intimidating teachers. We are warning the commission that teachers will reject any form of intimidation,” he said.
With too much concern, Matiang’i noted that the actions by TSC were affecting the morale of teachers.
“Teachers are low in morale and feel threatened. Warning letters are becoming the norm of the day. You can take a cow to the river but you can’t force it into drinking water,” he said.
Further Matiang’i warned that TSC was out to kill KNUT completely.
“We had more than 100,000 members but the numbers have gone down due to intimidation by our employer. KNUT will not die and I want to ask President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene,” he noted