Kenyan Teachers on Strike last Week A solid strike of teachers in Kenya has won permanent contracts for 18,000 contract teachers As reported on this site, the Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT), has been fighting for a long time to end the practice of employing teachers on temporary contracts as a means of saving money. Now their determined strike last week has won agreement from the government that they will make 18,000 contract teachers permanent and pensionable from next month and that they will emply 5000 new teachers from January. Although this is a major step forward in the fight for poperly funded education in Kenya it is clearly only the beginning as the government itself admits that there is a shortfall of 70,000 teachers in the country. Not only that but teachers in Kenya earn scarcely enough to live on - barely $100 a month - while the price of renting a shack in a slum is $30 a month. A primary school teacher told a reporter for the voice of America website: "Even the kids know that we are marginalized and we are suffering, so we just told them -- the issue is with the government and it's not with you.” And the hiring of 5000 extra teachers will only help in a very small way to mitigate the problem of oversized classes which are frequently bigger than 100 pupils to one teacher. Nevertheless the strike has achieved one important thing - the end of the misery of temporary contracts with all that entails in lower pay and insecurity for thousands of teachers. Now we must watch and make sure that the government carries out its pledge next month.