Private schools' lobby faults Sossion over bailout remarks - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 6 July 2020

Private schools' lobby faults Sossion over bailout remarks

St Thomas Amagoro Girls High School students led by their principal Doris Onyango celebrate their previous year's KCSE results. Private school owners government to cushion teachers in their schools against the effects of COVID-19.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Wilson Sosion has come under sharp criticism by a private schools' lobby for saying they should "forget state funding". 

Private school owners have urged the government to bail them out as the Covid-19 pandemic ravages their finances. Sossion has opposed the calls. 

Busia Kenya Private Schools Association chairman David Parapara said Sossion has no business dictating whether the government should help teachers in private schools. 

“Private schools pay taxes to the county and national governments through Kenya Revenue Authority and this is possibly what Sossion, whom I believe is a beneficiary of private schools, is not aware of,” Parapara said on Sunday.

He added, “TSC picks qualified and smart teachers from our staff, who later join Knut to benefit Sossion through their monthly contribution.”

Parapara said they support the efforts of the Kenya Private School Association head office in Nairobi to pressure the government to support their teachers. 

“Teachers employed by TSC are presently at home because of Covid-19 but are receiving salaries. Our members should also receive salaries,” he said.

On June 12, Sossion told teachers in private schools to forget receiving a bailout fund from the State, saying the schools were rich enough to pay their own staff.  

Sossion argued that it would be wrong for the government to spend taxpayers’ money in funding private business activities.

“The proposal by private learning institution owners that the state provides money to enable them to pay staff salaries is totally out of tune,” the firebrand trade unionist said.

He said investors in private schools should look for funding in financial institutions or elsewhere to run their enterprises.

But Parapara said teachers and other support staff at private schools pay taxes.

He said such people have not received pay since April after President Uhuru Kenyatta shut schools to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“We support the national and county governments by creating over 4,000 jobs of which currently they have not earned since April. Our staff should be classified among the vulnerable Kenyans,” Parapara said.

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