Most teachers in Kenya face many challenges: huge class sizes, rotten infrastructure, low pay. These in themselves are enough to prevent the kind of freely available education which all children are entitled to.
After a long struggle, teachers unions have achieved some increase in pay for their members which is to be welcomed. However what is worrying is that future increases will in part be tied to annual performance appraisals.
Performance related pay is one of the main pillars of corporate reform. It does not work in business and it is even less beneficial in schools, where teaching and learning is a collaborative process.
Now Education International is jointly organising a scheme in Kenya and Zambia to develop 'better tools to measure learning across all domains. The ‘Breadth of Learning’ tools 'will provide national governments with the ability to examine their education systems and target interventions.', according to EI's website.
EI's partner in this venture is the Brookings Centre for Universal Education. This is a US based outfit which, is promoting 'US Leadership in Global Education.', because, amongst other things a study has shown that the US would 'reap more than one third of the growth' generated in world GDP by a 'modest' increase in global learning scores.
It is the opinion of this website, that our global federation should not be co-operating with an organisation which promotes corporate reform and justifies it on the grounds of economic profit for the US because 'The valuation of companies will depend more on human capital than physical capital.'
On the contrary our unions should be promoting a vision of education for liberation from the deeply unjust economic relations in which we live, which result in the kinds of shortfalls in education funding which too many of our colleagues in Kenya are grappling with.