Kenyan teachers' leaders are standing firm against the latest attack on their members - performance related pay. They are telling teachers not to sign performance contracts which will assess among other things, their ability to produce lesson plans, their ability to use locally available resources and their nurturing of each pupils 'unique talents.'

In a blistering attack on the scheme, one member of the executive of the largest teaching union KNUT said 'It is hard to assess a teacher who teaches 100 pupils under a tree and one that has 40 pupils in a good structure. The Government is violating human rights by practising unfair labour policies against teachers.'

In the world of business, the use of performance related pay has been largely discredited. Its use in a collaborative profession like teaching is even more inappropriate. But the idea that it can be used in a situation where teachers are neither paid enough to live a dignified life, nor given the conditions which will enable them to practice their chosen profession is, in the opinion of this writer, little short of obscene.

Needless to say both the World Bank and corporate reform merchants like Pearson continually advocate its use all over the global South.

KNUT general secretary, Wilson Sossion, has said that the demand that teachers sign the contract is unconstitutional and is a means to abuse teachers' rights and punish them. The secondary teachers union KUPPET has already denounced the proposals. The long fight of Kenyan teachers for justice and public education is an inspiration to us all. They deserve all our support and solidarity in this new year.