kenyat.jpg Teachers Demonstrating in Kenya Last Year  The Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT) is threatening strike action if the salary increase negotiated last year is not paid The government is refusing to pay the money owed to the teachers even though it was promised last year. Before last year's strikes teachers could earn as little as $130 a month and primary teachers as little as $60. In addition the government has suspended study leave for teachers and is not using the money allocated to employ new teachers. Yet class sizes in Kenya are often 100 or above - especially now that school fees have been abolished meaning an increase in enrollment but not the necessary finance from the government to employ new teachers. Meanwhile many people in Kenya are severely malnourished despite living in a fertile country. Foreign corporations are increasingly grabbing large swathes of good agricultural land to grow bio-fuels and food for the 'developed' world in response to concerns about fossil fuels and an internaitonal food shortage. Often the first farmers who have lived on the land for generations know about it is when the bulldozers move in. The deals are done behind their backs and then the government is caught up in arcane World Trade Organisation rules which make it impossible for the people of Kenya to gain any benefit from the expropriation of their lands. So while foreign corporations make hay in Kenya, the teachers and their pupils are asked to put up with minus nothing. (see previous post on World Bank) And now teachers are once again going to have to take strike action - at great personal cost - not only personally and professionally but also risking brutal government reprisals as happened in the last round of strikes.