Dear Teachers, Go Back To School

There’s a picture that’s been circulating of the teacher’s strike that’s nothing short of amusing.

This man can neither spell nor add yet wants to be paid to teach our children to be similarly inept. Would you believe that this is not the dumbest thing about this whole strike? Not nearly. The dumbest thing is the entire notion of the strike.

To be clear, I don’t think what’s happening is right. Uhuru Kenyatta should really not have given teachers money to the army. It’s downright foul.

That said, for teachers to think they can get it back is somewhat stupid. Even if it were approved, 5 billion shillings would not manifest in a week; 28,000 new teachers would not be found in a month or quarter. These are effects that would be felt in early 2012 at best. Yet now that the funds were misappropriated, they want these changes to happen in a week. How now, brown cow?

Dumber still, is that they are doing this strike to somehow inflict some kind of damage on the government. My question is…why would the government care? Let’s ignore the fact that the current President has no interest in coming back next year. Let’s also ignore the fact that the whole governmental structure is changing under the Constitution so half these clowns are too busy stealing their last bucks to give anyone what’s due. Heck, let’s ignore the glaring financial crisis that means that our entire country is pretty much broke and that a shilling worth the same as a cow’s fart. Why would the government care that the teachers are refusing to teach students? If I was an asshole, I mean a politician, I would be happy as balls. I’d use this as an excuse not to pay the existing quarter of a million teachers their monthly dues and save money while seeing how they survive without it when they were struggling with it.

In all seriousness, our government literally reached down the throats of the famine stricken and stole money for their relief/food. Why would they be bothered by teachers who actually have food, and kids who already had teachers? Private schools are still in order and those are the people who foot this country’s bills so thanks but no thanks.

And then there’s this whole issue of asking for too much. Look, if you want more teachers, it makes sense to demand it in this fashion. If you want more money, I can see how you’d want the guarantee immediately. But to say you want 28,000 new teachers, higher salaries for existing teachers, all contract teachers to now be full-time with pension and all this to be done in a week? That’s just planning to fail. Our government couldn’t execute that quickly. They’re not nearly that selfless. And even if they were, they aren’t that effective. And even if that were the case, they’ve already squandered the money. And even if they hadn’t, you wouldn’t get it in one week.

So what are you really asking for? What do you honestly expect?

I’m going to take a shot in the dark and bet 50 stones that the government will promise pay hikes and hiring of new teachers and we’ll be right back at it again next year. In the meantime, all you will have done is set yet another generation of students up for failure; repeating a cycle that peaks at a teacher holding a placard that’s misspelled.

My advice, go back to schools, negotiate better. This will almost certainly not work.

PS: David Okuta is probably not the guy you want to have as your spokesperson when you’re feigning poverty and hunger. That man looks like he eats deep fried money and drinks liquid gold for every meal. If he keeps this up, he might reach critical mass, collapse into himself and swallow up whatever teacher is standing near him.

22 thoughts on “Dear Teachers, Go Back To School

  1. You’re right about the fact that the President and the government in general dont give a rat’s ass about anything or anyone. But you are wrong about why they should strike. See strikes work like a yawn or bird flu, very contagious. Already, Bidco workers have also gone on strike. This country needs something close to a revolution, not a revolution-we have a working constitution and our president who alebit is a “dont care” is not a despot. But we all need to down our tools or deny our services for things to change. The status quo is killing us! Unfortunately this may be the only route to take for us to get to our destination.

    • Is it really? I can understand a strike that’s properly planned and effective. Something that’ll really rock boats and shift oceans. Something close to a revolution.

      This is going to garner little more than more empty promises. I’m willing to bet that if enough money is slipped to the spearheads of this strike, they’ll call it off and cry victory and we’ll be back at this again.

      And students graduating at the end of the year will still fail and nothing will have been accomplished.

      • Personally I think teachers have also let us down as parents. I have a 5-year-old son in pre-school. The teachers have organized holiday tuition which I said I did not think my son needed. Therefore I declined to pay for it and my son stayed at home during the holidays.

        When school opened this term, the teachers started giving my son a hard time. They keep discouraging him and telling him that he will fail because his parents refused to pay for tuition.

        What kind of idiots are these?

        He is FIVE for goodness sake, he has not even officially started school – according to the 8-4-4 system, pre-school is optional.

        Why does he have to attend tuition?


  2. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. But I surely hope not. They are outside parliament right now, and after watching the Parliamentary proceedings, a few suggestions have been floated on how to get the money to pay the requisite money and hire new teachers. Let us see if any of them will be adopted. Remember even if they did not strike, the students would still have failed because of the congestion in the classrooms and shortage of books and other school supplies.

    • Crossed fingers.

      I think teachers are just the beginning. We need new schools – lots of them – and an updated curriculum. But that’s a different discussion.

      • Not a different discussion but a pertinent one. It needs to be had now. I am glad the dude did the spelling wrong on the placard. It speaks volumes. We can’t just be concerned about renumeration/numbers without seeking a quality product or you end up with misclennous mutations both teacher and student. Overhaul I say!

    • That is not a solution.
      Fact is, teachers are not well paid.
      Without good salaries, you cannot attract smart people. Period.
      Go to any secondary school and find out if any of the A students want to be teachers. Most of them don’t!

  3. Maybe whatever he is teaching doesn’t require him to be good at spelling and just because no politician will care should not stop people from industrial action to demand better working conditions. The reason it has come to a strike is because the politicians don’t care and so you pinch the politician’s employers (Kenyan parents) by keeping their kids out of school

    • Two things:
      1. If you cannot spell or add, you should not teach children. Point blank.
      2. To be honest, which parents matter more to the govt, public school or private school? Keep in mind the top 5% owns like 90% of the country. If you want to get them where it hurts coordinate with parents and and others and have a more effective strike, or…something else entirely. Because once they get more teachers, they need more money, then more schools, then more facilities, etc etc…and the syllabus is still irrelevant. Like Flora said, OVERHAUL.

      But first, spelling classes.

  4. ‘I’d use this as an excuse not to pay the existing quarter of a million teachers their monthly dues and save money while seeing how they survive without it when they were struggling with it…’ The article leaves one with the feeling that you look down upon teachers and their low salaries. It indeed, and shockingly so, excuses very criminal government acts. The placard may have a spelling mistake and horrifying arithmetic but one thing you never disputed is that the teachers have a point. Stop this middle class haughtiness, assess the teachers’ demands and address them. I however agree with the general point that the quality of teachers we have has to be equally addressed.

    • I’m looking at it as trying to get money that was stolen from hardworking people by a government that’s criminal.

      You have to be able to discern the difference between demanding your rights and getting them. My mother was and still is a teacher; and raised her children alone on peanuts. For as much as I don’t care about the educational system in and of itself, I do not look down on them.

      They deserve more – a lot more than they are demanding – and they can get it. But one has to objectively assess whether this is the right way to go about it. They’re setting themselves up for an empty promise in a way they shouldn’t. More strategy is required.

    • “To be clear, I don’t think what’s happening is right. Uhuru Kenyatta should really not have given teachers money to the army. It’s downright foul”

      “The article leaves one with the feeling that you look down upon teachers and their low salaries. It indeed, and shockingly so, excuses very criminal government acts”.

      How now?

  5. Yesterday, there was allegedly a matatu strike on Route 15. Something about a pastor being pinned with false charges because he confronted a cop. We had to pay 100/= on a day with no rain or operation. My question was – if you’re mad at the cops for corruption, how does punishing commuters help? It’s the same with the teacher’s strike. I understand that their cause is justified, but how does punishing my child this close to national exams help anyone?

  6. Whether the strike is timely or not is neither here nor anywhere. Whether the cash will be minted and teachers hired ASAP is also neither there, here or up anywhere! My concern is that we have an education system that is about to cave in very soon! It’s not sustainable in the long run and the OVERHAUL sentiments above are the year’s understatement.

    How is it possible that a Std 8 kid can’t understand a Std-2 story? I have seen worse…..with Form 1 students who can’t even help out their standard 6 siblings in Maths, Kiswahili or even Science! smh! It’s pathetic, the system is going to the dogs and take this to Mwangi of Equity, the dons don;t want to have anything to do with it. You wish the gvt to care about education? Ensure that all public servants take their kids to public schools by all means necessary! Only then will change happen!

    As for the teacher who had wrong calculations and spelling mistakes……lets just say that he must be an 844 graduate! What goes around comes around!


  7. So much for Vision 2030. As for the typo on the placard, that teacher should be made to write “Miscellaneous” until he fills a 48-page exercise book.

  8. @Mmnjug you should take your chauvinistic attack on a million plus people since 1985 that have come through the 844 system. At it shows who is more inept.

    This fellow who had misspelt and mis added could not be a teacher of he knew better to do it.

    Lastly, there are loads of Kenyans who only work under pressure and the strike worked.

  9. Pingback: Teacher, Teacher: A Simple Lesson For Us All | Diasporadical

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