Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Teachers' strike a blow

 A national strike  by teachers working in Government schools has brought all schooling in Kenya to a halt as, from yesterday, the Government enforced the closure of all private primary and secondary schools too.
Only top year students, due to sit their national examinations in November, are allowed to continue in school.
For Happy House this is a huge blow. Our pre-school and kindergarten children continue normally, but pupils in seven primary classes remain at home.
The strike is over a 50-60% pay rise awarded to Government school teachers by the industrial court.  
Following attempted arbitration, Kenya's Supreme Court ruled that the government should abide by a lower court's decision to give teachers a pay rise of at least 50%.
The teachers' pay body had argued that it cannot afford the increase. 
Teachers stopped work just days into the start of  this term, leaving millions of kids out of school.
Now the teachers v Government stand-off has spilled over into the private sector which will cause immense difficulties for schools including our own - a not-for-profit school which depends on the income from fees for day pupils to help sustain the school.
Private schools are being urged to ignore the Government directive but Mama is erring on the side of caution waiting to see how other private schools in the local area react.
The private sector is furious that the Government should pull them into the dispute and has criticised the nation's leaders for taking this action instead of trying to send a solution with the unions.
At Happy House we have a programme of activities in place to keep our children busy and occupied whilst waiting to see how the land lies.
 Day pupils for the time being, remain at home.

Building a Bright Future Appeal

Our Building a Bright Future Appeal has now passed the £10,000 mark, taking is well on the way to finishing our secondary school build - but we still have another £15,000 to raise. This will ensure that we can not only finish the build but also furnish, resource and, importantly, pay teachers for the first year while we establish the school and look funding to sustain it.
Mama's ultimate dream is to create a school that is solely for our Happy House kids plus children from the local community whose dire family circumstances mean they are not accessing any schooling at all.
Our friends are amazing and we thank each and everyone of you who has helped bring us this far already.
If you would like to help us to Build a Bright Future please make a donation at  http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/childrenofwatamu/brightfuture - £20 will but a desk or £15 a chair.
 Every penny really does count!