Kenyan school strike ‘to spread’

The strike has affected more than eight million children across KenyaA strike which has closed most of the primary schools in Kenya is going to spread, a union official says.

Over 200,000 primary school teachers went on strike on Monday after negotiations with the government over pay collapsed.

Secondary school teachers will now join them from next week, the chairman of the teachers’ union said.

A court in Nairobi has ruled the strike illegal and ordered union officials to restart talks with the government.

But at least 200 teachers prevented union leaders from going to the court by barricading them inside the union headquarters.

The government had appealed to the strikers to return to work.

It argues it cannot afford to raise teachers’ pay as rapidly as had been previously agreed.

It wants to phase in the wage increases over three years – but teachers fear an inflation rate running at around 26% a year will render the raise worthless.

The strike – which is open-ended – has closed more than 18,000 public primary schools, catering for some 8.2 million children.