As we’re entering into a new dispensation, however much we may fear the future is as uncertain as whether Moses Kuria will stop his verbal diarrhea, one thing must be stated in bold: Teachers Must Be Respected.
Teaching used to be a noble profession until Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee [mis]administration decided nobility is for the bourgeois, and chalk eaters wouldn’t be admitted to the exclusive club.
These days, every Wairimu, Fatuma, and Wanjala think so lowly of teachers. Also, they advise their children to add teaching, just in case they miss tenderpreneurship course at the university.
Magoha and the degradation of teachers
Teaching used to be a calling until Prof George Magoha began lowering the bars – lower than how Martha Koome has lowered Judiciary’s pants for the Executive.
Kenyan friends from Uganda imagined Magoha, having served as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, should’ve known better how to treat teachers. But, psychiatrists from Wathorego Institute of Mental Health warned against having high expectations, because in the just concluded General Election, while the Cherara Four had their say, Wafula Chebukati had his way.
As the Cabinet Secretary (CS) of Education, Magoha had schadenfreude in teachers’ misery. He belittle and harassed teachers. One would’ve thought teachers denied him the grade to be a small god.
In teachers, Magoha found a punching bag. He blamed them when learners chose to burn schools. When the learners registered unexpectedly good results, Magoha blamed the fake grade As on teachers. When teachers stayed out of administering punishment to unruly students, Magoha pointed fingers at the teachers for the rising cases of discipline in schools.
The braggadocios Magoha reminded everyone he was a Starehe old boy, a urologist [rumoured to have been the only one who touched Moi’s ball], and summed with his old, tired, and boring who do you think you are when asked very simple questions.
When he messed up by suggesting an NTV female journalist was a member of the Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorist group because she was in buibui, we knew Deja Vu was real and karma is actually a b****. But most important, Magoha exhibited that he wasn’t as cultured as his polished Curriculum Vitae.
We hope the new CS Ezekiel Machogu won’t suffer Magoha’s syndrome characterised by roadside declarations, counter policies announcements, and having orgasm whenever he sees news people.
Teachers’ Trade Unions
Perhaps the greatest teachers’ enemies are their unions – Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).
To say Knut and Kuppet are TSC’s flower girls would be to state the bare minimum tragicomedy teachers are experiencing. The last time the Union tried to push for better terms of working for the teachers, they signed a non-monetary Collective Bargaining Agreement.
When not shouting yes madam, the unions are entangled in dick-size completion. Knut and Kuppet can’t agree on anything, even simple elementary questions like where the junior secondary school should be domiciled.
Because they’re medical and risk analysis experts, Knut and Kuppet agreed unanimously with TSC that teachers are most sickly professionals and thus they needed two [bogus] health insurance covers.
Knut and Kuppet are often barking, but when they see Dr Nancy Macharia, they coil their tails like rained-on dogs.
The unions draw millions of shillings from teachers’ membership subscriptions, but aggressive agitation for teachers’ labour rights is where they draw the line. If the giant unionist David Okuta Osiany’ (RIP), were to wake from the dead to find Collins Oyuu, and Akello Misori at the helm of teachers’ unions, he’d die of shock.
The Kenya Kwanza government is premised on, inter alios, “Freedom is here,” and if this is to be actualised, then we must dust off the clouds of dust on our lenses to have a perfect view. The prosperity of any nation is banked on the success of its education system. There’s no country without the immense contribution of teachers. If our nation’s dream is to eliminate poverty and attain equity, and another plethora of challenges, then the teachers must be treated with respect and dignity. And, I’m not sure this country is ready to pay the price if she mishandles teachers!