By Samuel Ouma
The Kenya Primary School Heads Association (KEPSHA) conference was rocked with chaos on Monday, August 13, 2018 when teachers protested over alleged embezzlement of funds.
They demanded an explanation from KEPSHA chairman Shem Ndolo why the monthly fee they pay to the body was increased from Ksh.100 to Ksh.500 ($1-$5). The school bosses faulted Mr. Ndolo for failure to consult teachers before making such a move. They asked him to account for the funds saying they had not seen any project funded by their money.
“We are against the Ksh.500 being deducted from our salaries. Formerly it was Ksh.100 and it should remain that,” reiterated one of the school heads.
The heads also raised an alarm over Ksh.6, 000 ($60) they pay yearly to attend the conference in Mombasa, coastal part of the country, adding they enrich KEPSHA with millions of shillings every year.
In his defence, Ndolo said the changes are contained in their amended constitution. He explained that the association’s constitutional review occurs after every ten years. The trainers further castigated the chairman for opposing teachers’ strike slated for September 1 by Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), a body which advocates for the right of teachers. They wondered why KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion was not invited to address them.
Wilson Sosson last week divulged that teachers will down their tools next month incase Teachers Service Commission will not address their demands. Teachers are protesting against delocalization, promotions, salary harmonization, and teacher appraisal systems among others.
The school bosses got charged when Mr. Ndolo apparently dismissed their claims as ‘nonsensical’ issues. They lamented and chanted against him shouting in unison that “Ndolo must go”. They threw bottles and chairs at dais demanding the chair to apologize.
Ndolo’s antidote to the irate teachers did not save him from being whisked away. The 14th KEPSHA annual conference came to a standstill for over an hour. They endorsed his deputy Nicholas Githemia to take over declaring that the event will not be led by their boss.
“Ndolo should not address this congregation of teachers because he has abused us. He has called us nonsense. The vice chair should take over so that we may proceed,” an angry school head said.