The Kenyan courts have found in favour of the employers in the long-running dispute of teachers for pay justice. In a shocking judgement on Friday, the courts have now said that the offer of a 50% - 60% pay rise, which had been upheld by the judiciary on numerous occasions was 'not contractual'. The Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT) accuses the court of bias, saying that the judgement was a virtual recycling of a speech by President Uhuru Kenyatta, when he said in effect that the country 'can't pay, won't pay.' Before the judgement was made, KNUT lawyers had asked for the dismissal of the bench on the grounds that they were 'influenced by the executive.'

According to veteran anti-corruption activist John Githongo, corruption in the political elite in Kenya is worse than ever, with only 1% of the public budget properly accounted for. Equally egregious is massive tax avoidance in Kenya by global corporations: according to the Tax Justice Network-Africa network, this amounts to some $6 billion a year.

Meanwhile the government is gradually starving out public education, teachers and the low income families they serve. Teachers are paid poverty wages and work in often intolerable conditions, classes in Kenya are commonly over 100 and school infrastructure is woeful. This creates the perfect conditions for outfits like Bridge International Academies, supported by Pearson and billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, to make profits from the 'bottom billions' by opening chains of so-called low-fee private schools, staffed by untrained school leavers and housed in corrugated iron sheds.

KNUT has vowed to take their fight to the Supreme Court, however there is clearly not a lot of faith in the judicial system - which is why they talk of 'escalating political activism.' The problems in Kenya are replicated all over the global South and in a different form in the North too - the project is the same - destroy democratic public education and replace it with for-profit, de-natured education for the masses. Teachers everywhere should support the teachers of Kenya.

Their fight is our fight!

Victory to the Kenyan teachers!