Unions in Kenya have declared the first day of a nationwide walk-out by some 230,000 teachers “100% successful”. A BBC correspondent in Nairobi says some primary school pupils found their classes empty and so played or tried to give each other lessons.

Billed as the “mother of all strikes”, the open-ended action follows the collapse of pay negotiations. The education minister said the strike was illegal and blamed teachers, saying they kept changing their position.

On Sunday the government had urged parents to take their children to school despite the threat of industrial action. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) said lessons had been cancelled in most of the country’s 18,000 public primary schools, which cater for some 8.2 million pupils.

BBC Nairobi correspondent Ruth Nesoba says it was all play and no work for pupils at one school she visited and parents arrived early to take their unsupervised children home.

KNUT secretary general Lawrence Majali said he had gone into hiding fearing government reprisals.

From his hideout, he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme: “The strike has been 100% successful. Teachers are not in school, students have gone and gone back home.

“We are ready to negotiate even now because it can be even off today if they so wish.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: