Why KUPPET Teachers Are Threatening To Boycott Supervizing KCSE Exams

By Getrude Mathayo / Published October 13, 2023 | 12:25 pm



TSC KNUT

The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has issued a stern warning to boycott the invigilation, supervision, and marking of national examinations, citing poor treatment.

As the scheduled dates for national examinations approach, through its national officers, KUPPET has expressed concerns about the working conditions, inadequate and risky environments, and the meager and delayed payment of salaries for their members.

KUPPET demanded an agreement with the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) to harmonize the contentious issues before its members can offer their services.

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KUPPET leaders from various regions gathered to discuss these concerns, the leaders were speaking during an annual general meeting of the KUPPET branch held at a hotel in Mosocho, Kisii County, on Tuesday.

National Deputy Secretary General Moses Nthurima highlighted the lack of an agreement between KUPPET and KNEC regarding the appointment and utilization of union members for invigilation and marking of national exams.

“Most of the time when our members are invigilating, they leave home early and come back at night, thus working overtime, yet KNEC does not address the concept of equal pay for work done,” Nthurima said.

Additionally, Nthurima called on KNEC to engage the union to address the issue, which he also described as bordering on discrimination.

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“They are paying security teams (policemen) while teachers have to wait even for seven months. This is discrimination,” he added.

Mr Nthurima noted that KNEC offers less than Sh100 per marked paper and that the variation depends on the subject. In the same vein, KUPPET called on KNEC to improve the working conditions of teachers who mark national examinations.

KUPPET has urged its members not to report to the examination and marking centers until KNEC addresses these issues and seeks to improve working conditions and marking rates.

He likened exam marking centers to concentration camps where teachers are not allowed to have their communication devices such as mobile phones.

“This country has a very progressive constitution that enshrines the right to information. Teachers cannot even communicate with their families,” Mr Nthurima said.

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The union has observed that markers are often put to sleep in unhygienic student dormitories, where they are fed by bedbugs and risk contracting other skin infections.

KUPPET also opposes the Ministry of Education’s attempts to assume some functions of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and aims to protect the TSC’s independence. The union seeks to bridge the pay gap between classroom teachers and head teachers, reduce the deployment of junior school teachers to primary schools, and address various challenges within the education sector.

We are asking teachers not to report to the centers before KNEC talks to us,” KUPPET urged, calling on KUPPET members not to betray the union’s position by sneaking into marking centers only to be subjected to the conditions they abhor.

Mr Nthurima said they would also use such talks to renegotiate the marking rates per paper, which he said were very low.

“Without an increase in money for supervision, invigilation, and marking, we are telling our members to boycott. We urge our members not to betray the union by trooping to the examination and marking centers,” Korir said.

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