Kenyan Teachers’ Union, KNUT, is Going Nuts

By Odhiambo T Oketch

Knut is in the driving seat once more, and I do not know exactly where they are driving to.

In the recent past, Kenyans have been treated to only one song from Knut; Strike.

as Kenyans, we will be celebrating our 50 Years of Independence next Year on the 1st of June 2013. And on that day, we will be looking back into the last 50 years either with disdain, or with hope. Disdain because we will be having nothing to show-case the World, and with hope because we have developed the Hardware to help us in the next take-off.

The only thing Knut has been talking about, the only thing for which Kenyans can enjoin them with, has been Strike. The Education sector is one area that joins all of us as Kenyans.

We are all concerned about the quality of Education our children are getting in our schools. We are all concerned about the general pay-wage of every Kenyan who works, whether you are working in the Public Sector, or in the Private Sector. For purposes of this argument, the Private Sector will encompass all Kenyans who do not work for Government, including all who are self employed.

If all of us were to only resort to striking, will we be able to move Kenya into the next Phase with strong ideals? What does Knut stand for, and what do they want?

Several times, we have complained about our dwindling standards of education. I am yet to be fully briefed on why a Standard 1 Child should go for Tuition, and more so, why a Standard 1 Child should be instructed on History, Geography, CRE, Physics and Chemistry. And I have never heard  Knut make a formal complaint that this is wrong!

The only thing I hear them complain about is Salary and Strike.

Are these mandarins who lead Knut also parents? Do they know that a Child needs to play more than to read? And if a child must read, it must be the very basics- Maths and Writing. Not even English.

Why on earth have I not heard Knut complain about the loaded curriculum and the over-crowded classed and propose a strike in solidarity with this mess?

The Text Books upon which our Children are being instructed are in most cases not accurate. I know of one Book that listed Lwanda Magere as being one of the Luo Fore- Fathers. He was not. He was simply a Luo Warrior. I want to believe we have many more Books that have this kind of factual error. Why have I not heard Knut threaten a Strike on this kind of Quality?

Many Schools have lost play grounds to both Teachers and Land Grabbers and in effect, our Children no longer have playing fields. Our Children are becoming zoombies who wake up at 4.00am, leave for school at 5.30am, read all day, come back home at 7.00pm, sit for their Home Works until 12.00 Midnight and go to bed at 12.30am.

Over the weekends, especially on Saturdays, they go back to school at 8.00am for Tuition until 5.00pm. They are then given home works that keep them indoors for the rest of Saturday. On Sunday morning, some fail to attend Church because they have a lot of home works.

Now, when will these Children be Children? Children must have time to read, play and sleep, and this is why we have a 24 hour system where 8 hours are reserved for each item. For Adults, you will find that we also have 8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep and 8 hours for other activities.

Why are we denying our Children their right to be Children? And why is Knut becoming such a nut in these matters?


Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (

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