By Peter Amunga
In any profession, there’s something called professional ethics and the code expected of a particular professional. This is why lawyers with one degree and maybe a KSL diploma, call themselves “learned friends ” with a lot of pride and for sure they set the bar high. A lawyer will be broke, but in a finely cut suit and proper grooming, he will convince you to pay ksh one million as his fee in a case involving a second hand probox. Medics the same.
Pesa ya kuona Daktari ni 5k, walimu tuition kwa plot 20 bob per kid, as if you guys never paid fee in school, nkkkkieeeest. We lower ourselves. We are like prostitutes. Any one can command us to do anything including removing our our underpants. We stoop too low, live low, put on suit on AGM and wait for a subsequent AGM, trouser ni mbili, kiatu ni moja! We fear the TSC sub-county director more than we do to God and Satan combined.
Now, a confused Magoha and another totally God and teacher forsaken man called Sossion, are able overpower Nancy Macharia in a stakeholders meeting at KICD and connive to tell teachers to report to schools without students to teach. Only happens in Kenya. A schools with teachers but with no learners is a world record. A first in the world.
Ok. Fine. Since it is our employer who has spoken and told us to report.. we have no choice but to do so. (If only we had strong unions, they would have refuse such a move… but sawa tu. We all know KNUT died.. sawa.).. But my fellow teachers, who told us to sweep? Who told us to mope classrooms and wash trees and chase away birds from the school compound? Who made us swing on sewsaws, and play kiddish games like gadi in school as we await learners? If only we valued ourselves and refused to allow to bend our backs so as to allow the likes of Magoha or Sossion to ride on our them! If only we dressed in fine linen, sprayed some nice perfumes and invested in good pair of shoes, we couldn’t dare touch a broom sweep school compounds, mop toilets and use a panga cutting grass around. Teachers in Kenya, the world is watching us, including Salaries Remunaration Commission. It is how we brand ourselves that sells us. It is how we set our standards, dress, speak, put our points forward etc that increases our bargaining power.
So far, we are rated as the lowest. I will never forget. In Naivasha during salary evaluations and review by SRC, TSC and KNUT. I was an observer. SRC simply put it that classroom teachers DO NOT DESERVE TOO MUCH MONEY. They can accept anything. Sossion my firned agreed and signed, terming it the best for the lowly teachers ..south of Sahara, North of Limpopo. Obviously, we won’t be recommended for some serious figures if we can wash tress, baby sit,sweep compounds, slash grass, mop classrooms and dress as if we are ground staff. Think of it this way? Who pays sweepers and cleaners 100,000? Where in the world is a toilet cleaner like the teachers in Kenya paid 300,000?
Lastly, continue setting your standards low, and so will forever be the societal perspective towards you, as for me and my ego, am a very proud teacher, taking pride in my job AND SETTING STANDARDS SO HIGH though I know WE ARE MINORITY IN THIS. I stormed out of a KCSE marking center in Nakuru when I dscovered that the food KNEC was providing was substandard, showering cold water, and was sleeping on students beds. I told KNEC to KISS MY BLACK ASS and quit. My standards were to high for such nonsense.
You are what you choose to be. KNUT died. it is you teachers to set standards for yourselves.