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Formation Background

The idea of the formation of Forum for East African Teachers' Unions (FEATU) was mooted way back in 2002 during the PAC meeting in Machakos.  It was during this meeting that the General Secretaries of the Teachers Unions felt that it was high time for them to see how the unions will work together in as far as putting their heads together in tackling problems that face them and share experiences in a way of strengthening their respective unions.

From that year (2002) not much was done towards the realization of this dream.  This was because there was no opportunity for this to be done.  Things began to take shape in December 2006 when the DLF/LO-FTF/EI Regional Advisor Mr. Mette Klinte organized the first meeting of the Secretary Generals, Chairmen, Treasurers and one member of the National Executive Committee Members from the three (3) teachers unions namely:- Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya.  This meeting was held from 10th - 13th December, 2006.

The resolution of this meeting was that there should be put in place mechanism of ensuring the union of East African Teachers Union takes shape.  The other thing was to explore ways and means of seeing that the teachers union is admitted into the East African Community at an observer status.  In this meeting, we were fortunate to be addressed by one officer from the East African Community Secretariat who gave the meeting the road map towards the attainment of the status that we have been seeking.

In February 2007, a meeting for East African Teachers Unions was held in Zanzibar and the purpose of the meeting was on recruitment strategy in the unions.  This meeting was organized and sponsored by the East African Project Coordinator Mrs. Mette Klinte.

It was in this meeting that the FEATU was officially mooted and the secretariat was chosen to be Kenya (Kenya National Union of Teachers KNUT), and this was the time that it was unanimously agreed that the next meeting would be hosted by KNUT and a data was fixed to be from June 24th to June 26th, 2007.  This conference was held at Sports View Hotel Kasarani, Nairobi and was attended by the top three officials from each union plus the project coordinators.

After this conference, it was agreed that the project coordinators meet and draft a constitution for the mooted union which was to be looked at by the top management of each union in East Africa.

The coordinators met from 29th June to 1st July, 2007.  We would like at this point thank the Project Advisor Mrs. Klinte, whose input was greatly helpful along with the Legal Officer of KNUT Mr. Kabiru Macharia.

The third conference of the FEATU was held from 14th -16th September, 2007.  In this conference, the Draft Constitution was examined, ratified and adopted.

The Draft Constitution had amongst other things aims and objectives.  Among them are:-

1   (a)    Harmonize education policies of member states within the East
          African Community (EAC);

(b)    Develop labour standards within the education sector in the EAC;

(c)    Develop educational standards that much international standards.

2.    Work towards establishment of a FEATU representation within the EAC Secretariat.

3.    Establish frequent contact with EAC secretariat responsible for the social sector harmonization.

4.    Encourage member teacher unions to participate in the formation of EAC education policy in their respective countries.

5.    Support each member trade union with a view of strengthening them to execute their mandate in their respective countries.

6.    Promote cooperation and share experiences/information with other education stakeholders and labour movements within the EAC as well as other relevant organizations for the common interests of its members.

7.    Membership is open to Rwanda and Burundi.

All in all the forum for East African Teachers Union is in place and the secretariat is now with the KNUT for the next two years.  The Draft Constitution has been printed and to be forwarded to EAC Secretariat for consideration.

The membership of the FEATU has been left open to any other Eastern African country like Rwanda and Burundi who were recently accepted into EAC.


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