Category Archives: Education

Teachers warns Law Society of Kenya against interfering with TSC affairs.

The Union of Special  Needs Education teachers has asked Law Society of Kenya (LSK ) to keep off matters to do with teachers.

Through the secretary general ,Mr. James Torome, the Union said that it is only the president that is mandated to either re-appoint or dismiss the Chief Executive Officer of the Teachers’ Service Commission Dr. Nancy Macharia.

Torome was talking at a press conference in Narok Town.

He said that the only duty of the attorney General in this case is to notify the president of any vacancy.

He reminded the lawyers that they (teachers) have never interfered with any judicial process and in a similar mannner,they lawyers should keep off teachers’ affairs.

The Union Chairman ,Amos Karanja wondered why everybody was concerned about teachers’ affairs while on their side they have never interfered with other proffesions.

He demanded respect for the tutors saying that Miss Macharia has stood with them during tryin’g moments.

The sentiments comes just few days after Kenya National Union Of Teachers (KNUT) denied claims that it was against Nancy Macharia’s reappointment.

Through the secretary general ,Wilson Sossion, the Union said that it had not filed any petition in court with a view to opposing Macharia’s reappointment for the second term.

He confirmed that KNUT and TSC were in the process of “reconciling” and such allegations could ruin all that.

Few days ago a petition filed by a lobby group Midrift Human Rights Network that sought to bar the CEO from carrying out her duties suffered a blow after the bench failed to issue such orders.

Her term was however renewed despite  LSK’s efforts to stop it on grounds of it not being done through a competetive process as required by the law.

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Your salary will not be slashed despite not working,TSC to government employed teachers.

Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC ) through its Director of communications Mrs Beatrice Wababu has assured government employed teachers that there are no plans to stop paying them.

She said that it is not the teachers who have refused to go to work but schools are closed due to Covid-19 Pandemic.

She expressed her confidence in the fact that if situations allowed and the teachers called upon to resume work,they wouldn’t hesitate.

Further, Mrs Wababu said that teachers cannot be penalised by the commission for a problem that they did not create.

This declaration comes at a time when several teachers had expressed fear that their salaries could be stopped if the pandemic continued further.

Going by the TSC records, teachers’ monthly salaries claims ksh 20.6 billion which totals to Sh247.2 billion yearly.

On a sad note, those  employed on Board of Management terms and the non-teaching staff face uncertainity as the government has been evasive in releasing funds to schools.

Upon closure of schools following the report of the first case of Corona virus in the country,several TSC employed teachers went home.

By the time schools shall be reopening in January,the shall have earned for 9 good months from the comfort of their living rooms.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) chairman Kahi Indimuli says that when called upon,teachers will readily go to work at any time and hence should not be victimised.

“If the situation changes now, teachers will go back to class. So we should not be punished for a problem we did not create,” Mr Indimuli said.

Kenya National Union of teachers KNUT through secretary general Wilson Sossion said that teachers are under protection of the Collective Bargaining Signed by TSC and this should be respected.

He added that their main focus at the moment should be how to improve the infrastructure in schools and measures to mitigate covid-19 as they  prepare to open.

Further the firebrand Secretary general said that UNESCO and WHO, in their advisories for reopening schools across the world, have called for the protection of teachers’ salaries.

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6.Things that teachers,learners and schools should expect after Magoha’s Tuesday declarations.

It took Education ministry under the stewardship of Professor Magoha weeks of brainstorming but ultimately,he declared the 2020 education calendar null and void due to corona virus.

According to Magoha’s announcement, Universities and other tertiary institutions will in September open on condition that they put in place measures to protect their students from the virus.

Primary and secondary schools however will have to stay longer at home,as they await to open in January next year should the infection curve flatten.

In addition to that they will all have to repeat their current Classes.

“All learners in Grades 1 to 4, Standard 5 to 7 in 2020 and Forms 1 to 3 in 2020, will remain in their current classes in 2021… This year’s KCPE, KCSE candidates will sit their examination later in 2021,” Magoha said.

Magoha was speaking at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. He termed the decision unanimous.

With him were representatives of Giant teachers unions KUPPET and KNUT,schools,parents , Teachers service commission all of whom were in support of the new development.

Earlier,there was a suggestion by stakeholders to have schools open in September but later , January 2021 was recommended having looked at the situation within the country.

Since the inception of KCPE and KCSE 30 years ago,this will mark the first time that they will not be done.

What exactly are the implications of the decisions?

1.Extended duration for completing studies.
In stead of eight years,those currently in primary school will spend 9 years while their counterparts in highschool 5 in stead of 4 years.

2.No grade 1 and form 1 intake
In consequence,the intake of grade one and form one learners that takes place yearly in January will not be there next year.

Both Universities and colleges will also miss annual intakes in the year 2021.

3.Disruption of the implementation of Competence Based Curriculum.
Implementation of the CBC was to move to grade 5 this year but apparently that will not be possible due to the changes.

4.In addition to that ,key programs such feeding and distribution of sanitary pads will also be thrown into disarray.

5.Escalation of drug abuse and Pregnancies cases.
With just four months at home it was approximated that 400,000 school going girls were pregnant.

Now that they have to stay at home for about 5 months longer,what do you expect?

The same could be witnessed with Female genital mutilation, drug and substance abuse and early marriages.

The Kenya Parents association chairman ,Mr. maiyo projected that the situation is likely to worsen unless a swift action is taken.

To keep the learners engaged, he said the association is working on how to develop viable out-of-class learning that can suit all learners.

“We are reaching out to partners like Safaricom, Google, KICD and others to see how best we can ensure our children continue their education at home and keep them off harmful practices,” Maiyo said.

6.No salaries for BOM and private school teachers.
Their salaries is directly from school fees.Now that there’s an extension of closure of schools, the teachers should brace themselves for 6 more months without pay.

According to private schools association head,Peter Ndoro ,the Institutions have not been able to pay salaries since April with others backdating salaries  to March.

“We solely depend on school fees and in the absence of them we have no source of revenue. At the moment, almost all schools have stopped paying their staff,” Ndoro said.

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Officially confirmed:At least 100,000 teachers to get payhike at the end of this month.

Joy must be presently written on teachers’ faces after their employer ,Teachers Service Commission(TSC) confirmed that come end month,at least 100,000 of them will receive the last part of their phased pay increase.

According to The Daily Nation , the commission assured tutors holding administrative positions on the implementation.

The TSC stated that the payrise costs ksh 11billion.

“There should be no cause for alarm since it will be paid by the end of July,” said the statement by the commission.

“As we await government directives on reopening of schools, the commission wishes to thank all teachers for the support that they have been according us. We value this partnership which has enabled us to continue serving you even under the current circumstances. Further, we value your efforts in engaging your learners with online lessons and words of encouragement. Thank you and please continue reaching out.” The statement continued.

Implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreement( CBA) commenced in July 2017 and is set to come to completion at the end of this fiscal year.

Thereafter, a way shall be paved for new Negotiations.

Automation of TSC services.
“Another crucial achievement is the automation of TSC services and especially the T-Pay system through which you approve and monitor your third party financial transactions,” added the statement.

Last month TSC ordered a recount of all Head teachers, deputies and senior teachers.

The recount was prompted by realisation that there were some teachers who were promoted by mistake after the commission received wrong information from the county directors.

As indicated by a circular by TSC , some teachers provided inaccurate and misleading data that led to erroneous conversion.

Some classroom teachers were converted to grades exclusively reserved for institutional administrators.

Some senior teachers were also wrongly captured as administrators.

 In other instances, staffing levels in terms of required administrators in a school exceeded the optimum establishment contrary to the established norms.

Dr. Macharia said that unrelibility of the data has negatively affected activities of the commission including:
Payroll Management
Selection process
Appointment of new administrators.
Deployment of new administrators

TSC is also set to promote 100,000 teachers currently in grade B5 to C1.7 Billion was set aside for the exercise.

Grade B5 teachers currently earning a basic salary of between Sh21, 756 and Sh27, 195 will now take home between Sh27, 195 and Sh33, 994.

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Class Eight and Form four candidates likely to open in September.

As students in tertiary institutions will be resuming learning in September, the candidates (class eight and form Four) are also likely to resume alongside them.

It is said that the decision to have candidates go back to schools is part of the proposed gradual re-opening.

According to trusted sources,CS Magoha is today set to meet stakeholders with the aim of discussing the planned opening.

He is going to meet Secondary Schools Head Association Chairman and that of Primary Schools,Mr. Indimuli Kahi and Nicholas Gathemia respectively.

However,it was not so clear ,whether or not the meeting will be attended by teachers’ unions ,that have been championing for January opening.

Nevertheless,a lot still need to be discussed on the same as the health ministry had warned of possible surge in Covid-19 infections should schools reopen in September.

Professor Magoha has in several occasions said that schools will not reopen untill the Corona virus infections curve flattens.

According to the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), 1.93 million are to sit for this year’s examinations.

Of the total ,1,187,517 are class eight while 1,187,517 form four candidates.

A document from the ministry of Education proposes that due to low enrollment in Technical and Vocational training centres, they should be re-opened.

The Institutions have approximately 400,000 learners while Universities slightly above half a million.

The document,signed by Magoha was presented to the National Assembly that asked to know plans by the ministry to handle schools upon reopening.

“The Ministry of Education will consider prioritising the reopening of technical training colleges subject to observing all coronavirus protocols due to their low enrolment,” the document says.

In the event that opening delays, the document states that Universities and TVETs will virtually meet to conduct orientation for their new students.

In May,President Uhuru directed the ministry of health to have the school calendar restructured by mid August.

According to the recommendations presented to the president , there’s a proposal that schools be reopened next year January.

Both Unions and Stakeholders from the ministry of education were in support of the proposed dates.

The proposal was informed by projections showing Covid-19 infections could peak in September.

The document also indicated that the Teachers Service Commission will identify teachers with underlying health conditions plus those aged 58 and assign them appropriate duties.

Teachers will be required to report back to school at least 14 days prior.

They will be mandated to ensuring that a the health guidelines are adhered to.

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5.reasons why teachers will never forgive outgoing TSC Boss ,Dr.Nancy Macharia.

Dr. Nancy Macharia’s tenure as Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was marred with a lot of complaints from teacher’s unions that accused her of usin’g authoritarianism in her leadership.

In one instance, a teacher called upon her colleagues to rise up against the commissioner who she said in a post ,was running the commission as a personal “kiosk” (small shop).

She frustrated teachers directly through givin’g  tough orders or indirectly by makin’g very strict and inconsiderate policies;

1.Allowing deduction of teachers’ salary by KEWOTA without consent.
A section of female  teachers  accused Macharia led commission of deducting ksh 200 monthly from their salaries without prior notification.

Any attempt by them to have the deductions stopped proved futile.They woke up and found the Union approved on their payslips without any consultations.

Normally, a teacher is supposed to apply before joining any union but KEWOTA’s case was mysterious.

On the payslips appeared a prompt to Click APPROVE in order to join KEWOTA which many declined but on the pay day to their dismay, it had been approved and a notification sent that ksh 200 was to be deducted.

2.Introduction of Job appraisal policy
If schools were on and you walked to any cyber cafe around you today,chances are very that you would meet a teacher with very bulky documents keying in some information in the computer.

Performance appraisals  and other paper works have been not only cumbersome to teachers but have also diverted teachers attention from learners.

The tutors have been spending hours and money in Cyber cafe’ looking for forms to fill rather than preparing for academic work for the benefit of students.

3.Abolition of school-based learning programmes.
As opposed to when teachers utilised the holidays when their learners were away to further their studies,Teachers service commission CEO claimed that the programmes compromised teaching in public schools.

To date, I still wonder how.

4.“killing” of Kenya National Union Of teachers (KNUT)
One of the biggest TSC objective has been “how to kill KNUT” probably because it has been one of the strongest teachers’ union seen as a threat to the government and employer.

Miss Macharia at some point cut  resources to KNUT with a view to crippling it.

Other Unions have also emerged with any defector from KNUT promised a payrise.

Deregistration of the Union Secretary General Wilson Sossion from the register of teachers at some point was one of the schemes to weaken it.

At the moment ,the once strongest union is left voiceless after the employer lured several teachers to defect to other unions.

5.Mass Interdiction of teachers in CBC rows.
At least 124 teachers were interdicted for skipping training on Competency Based Curriculum,a move that sparked mixed reactions in the country with condemnation from the senators.

Several other teachers were also subjected to Disciplinary actions with many being served by warning letters.
Although the matter was amicably sorted later,it was so dictatorial.

6.Initiation of delocalization process
The process was characterised by massive transfer of teachers away from their homes.

The retrogressive policy led to resignation of many teachers , especially those that were transferred to war-striken areas against their wish.

Several families were disrupted and despite opposition by unions ,the teachers’ employer went ahead to implement it.

In my opinion, it is wise for children to be taught by teachers who understands their culture and language especially now that we have a competence Based Curriculum which takes culture into account.

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Magoha:TVET’s to prepare for September openin’g,primary and secondary schools likely, January 2021.

Education cabinet secretary Professor George Omore Magoha.

Technical trainin’g colleges have been asked to begin preparin’g for openin’g in September by Education cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha.

According to the Daily Nation, Magoha told the insititutions to only resume learnin’g partially,while prioritisin’g the finalist Classes.

Primary and Secondary Schools.
The CS hinted that in light of the covid-19 infections that keep soarin’g in Kenya, primary and secondary schools may not be opened in September 1 as earlier said.

Unless the Covid-19 curve is flattened ,this would mean that  opening of the basic learnin’g sector will be pushed to January next year.

He said that openin’g the schools with the current situation of the virus is a tantamount to risking children’s lives.

“We don’t want to have a situation where we take learners back to school and get them infected with coronavirus,” said Magoha.

Many principals have been opposed to the proposed September Schools openin’g citin’g lack of preparedness to observe the health measures due to financial constraints.

Since March ,the goverenment has not released any subsidy funds to schools.

Logistics nightmare
If schools are to open in January as hinted by prof Magoha,it would mean that  all learners ,save for the candidates, would have no option but to repeat for a whole year.

The few months (two months and two weeks) the learners were in school this year would not justify their progress to the next grade.

Teacher shortage.
At the same time,Schools are facing serious understaffin’g of about 130,000 teachers .

Those that were employed on Board of Management terms have not received their pay since March and are unlikely to work zealously unless they are given their pay.

National Examinations.
Accordin’g to insiders from Jogoo house,the candidates could be ordered to go back to school in August to begin preparation for final examinations.

Professor Magoha recently said that the National examinations for both class eight and form fours are likely to be done in either April or May.

The same sources said that probably, universities will be at liberty to choose their openin’g dates.

This would however depend on their academic calendars and their readiness to adhere to Ministry of health Covid-19 guidelines.

Prequisites for university openin’g
Amon’g the things expected of universities before openin’g includes;
Well stocked face masks , sanitizer booths  and running water.

Others includes social distancing rules for everyone in the institutions and hygiene protocols.

Having done all these,the relevant authority within the University must invite a team of officials from both Education and Health ministries  for inspection.

If the team approves the measures put in place ,then the institution will be given a go ahead to open.

Magoha advised the Institutions to allow partial openin’g with a view to permittin’g
the finalists to take their examinations.

“We had a meeting with stakeholders. A part of our engagement meeting has gone on well and come up with several proposals that will see learning resume,” said the CS, who was accompanied by the Tvet Principal Secretary, Dr Julius Jwan.

Magoha reiterated that the major challenge ,that he described as the elephant in the room is social distancin’g.

“Kindly programme and bring students in shifts and allow others to complete their examinations,” he said, adding that the institutions must be able to make their own masks and provide sanitisers to students.

The CS also added that the higher learning institutions that were used as isolation centres will have to be fumigated before openin’g.

Further he said that no more patients will be admitted to such centers in order to allow their reopenin’g.

The 8.8 billion from the world bank ,he said ,will be used in supportin’g infrastructural development in schools.

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Universities,TVETs and colleges likely to reopen before Primary and High Schools.

Education cabinet secretary Professor George Magoha has hinted that tertiary learnin’g institutions could be opened before primary and Secondary.

Accordin’g to The Daily Nation, while in Kisumu on Friday ,the CS reiterated that Scarcity of  infrastructural resources as well as congestion in primary and high schools pose a major challenge in their reopenin’g.

Universities ,TVET’s and colleges

He said that having looked at the tertiary institutions,chances are high that they will easily adhere to covid-19 guidelines compared to their counterparts in primary and high schools.

He gave an example of universities  that offers various courses and can swiftly adjust their programmes therefore ease of opening in shifts.

Professor Magoha was talking when he met the principals of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from Western Kenya.

Having been assured by TVET’s   Principal Secretary Julius Juan that the institutions could make their own masks,the CS said that Mask production was nolonger a hurdle.

He however expressed alarm by the rate at which covid 19 cases keep soarin’g in Kenya.

“The unfortunate thing is Covid-19 is still increasing… But government is going to work as if we are going to open on September 1,” Prof Magoha said.

Re-opening depend on Covid-19 situation.

Professor Magoha further said that reopening schools is largely dependent on the Corona virus situation in the country.

He added that if cases remain high ,then it is unlikely that the ministry will continue with the plan to reopen schools in September 1.

He continued to say that they are so much reliant on advice from health ministry on reopenin’g the institutions.

“As a physician, I will tell you according to my training, we should open after we have reached the peak and stabilised and started coming down for 14 days continuously,” he said. There is no country in the world that has dared to reopen when the Covid-19 infections were still rising.”

On Wednesday, Magoha said that they had been adviced by  health ministry to have a class contain at most 20 learners.

To address scarcity of classes and other infrastructural resources,he said that they had been adviced that tents be erected.

These were in response to earlier concerns raised by parents ,citin’g lack of preparedness.

Magoha added that it is only after the tertiary learnin’g institutions are certified by a government-approved medic that they will be opened.

“The challenge would be in boarding facilities in terms of bed capacity,” he said.

The TVET boss Dr. Juan said that should the institutions be reopenned,then they are going to be key players in production of items ideal for fightin’g covid-19.

He gave examples of Eldoret polytechnic that had donated about 240 medical beds to Uasin Gishu county and Kisumu National Polytechnic that is currently working on solar-powered hand washin’g machines.

Doublin’g infrastructure impossible.

Professor Magoha added that they have been contemplating increasing facilities in Primary and secondary Schools but said that would be unrealistic since it has taken the government several years to have in place those few.

“It will be most unreasonable to expect government to double or triple the facilities in learning institutions, because it has taken years to build what is there.”

On readmitting learners in shifts,the CS stated that would only be possible for lower primary.

Professor Magoha also stated that TVETs will be inspected to ensure compliance with Covid-19 guidelines ,after which the examinations that were disrupted could be allowed to resume.

For Kenya National Union of Teachers’ (KNUT) proporsal to do away with delocalisation,he dismissed it termin’g it petty politics that do not deserve his attention.

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Why schools may not open until next year.

Experts have ruled out possibilities of openin’g schools this year citin’g challenges in enforcing social distancin’g in the many Schools with a total of 14 million learners.

Accordin’g to the standard, they said that leaners’ lives could be exposed to risk should schools reopen before the Corona virus infections curve is flattened.

These were discused durin’g a top profile meeting that was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In a reminder Mr. Kenyatta told the members that in the 1982 attempted coup, learning was suspended untill the following year hence this will not be the first time learning schedule is bein’g interrupted in Kenya.

Challenges implementin’g social distance.
in his address , education cabinet secretary Professor George Magoha said the government may be reluctant to open schools due to inadequate facilities.

He said this may make it hard to implement social distancin’g when schools are re-opened.

“I will advise not to open schools when the infections from the disease are rising. We propose that school clusters be attached to a health facility before we can open,” Magoha said.

He invoked his medical side by saying,

“When a child has fever what do you do to avoid panic in the school? Do you shut down the school and send all pupils home? Pupils may have fever from other ailments, not necessarily from Covid-19.”

The option that emerged therefore was only for the candidate classes (Class eight and form four) to go back for their national examinations while their counterparts in the juniour classes remain at home.

The deputy president Dr. Ruto who followed the meeting from his karen office said that the ministry should consider having only the candidate classes going back to write their exams . He insinuated that others should stay longer at home till a vaccine is found.

Precautionary measures.
Professor Magoha added that should schools open, learners will not share equipment such as books and masks as a precautionary measure.

To ensure hygiene,schools will have to be regularly fumigated and cleaned with a constant water supply.

On July 6, citizens’ eyes will all be cast on the president in the much anticipated address to the Nation.

The technical teams looking at different sectors  have upto 5th of next month to submit the mordalities of reopening the economy,based on the irreducible minimums given in the last address.

According to sources ,traveling between counties might be allowed although the curfew may continue for another one month.

As the president put it, reopenin’g different sectors will be dependent on how prepared the counties are,to deal with emerging infections.

“County readiness to respond to new imported cases of infection will largely determine our national readiness to re-open the country as a whole. I say this because the nation is the sum total of all the 47 counties. If the counties have met the necessary thresholds, then the nation will be ready to re-open,”

Uhuru told the meeting of the national and county governments coordinating summit. In attendance were also religious leaders.

“There are things which cannot wait. We have churches, mosques and temples waiting to reopen for prayers, but we must develop and agree on the protocols for each sector,” Ruto said.

Mandera governor ,Ali Roba said that the testing capacity of counties should be increased and vulnarable groups supported.

Kakamega governor , Wycliffe Oparanya said that 12 counties had met the 300 isolation beds threshold per county, while 34 devolved units were on course to meet the target within the month. 

The universities may open but with strict measures for example ,screening before lectures ,wearing of masks among other measures.

In conclusion,the president said that ,

“We shall facilitate phased reopening of the economy but 34 counties that have isolation bed shortfalls must be ready within 11 days.”

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Magoha : Maintaining social distance in schools will be challenging.

Education cabinet secretary with Kitui governor Charity Ngilu when the CS went to check progress of face mask production by KicoTec.

Education cabinet secretary Professor George Magoha admitted that ensuring that students adhere to social distancing measures when schools open in September remains a challenge.

According to the daily nation, the CS was advised by experts from the health ministry that a 45 learner capacity classroom be decongested in order to prevent spread of the virus.

“We’ve been advised by the ministry of health that a class should have between 15 and 20 students. You all know this is going to be a big challenge because schools do not have sufficient learning facilities” he said.

Presently,the total number of students both in primary and secondary stands at approximately 24 million.

If social distancing is to be properly enhanced,then it means several learners must find alternative learnin’g facilities.

In some schools,especially in the urban centres, a classroom can have upto 70 learners.

Teacher shortage.
Crippling teacher shortage is likely to worsen the already worse situation.

The shortage which currently stands at 130,000 accross the entire basic education sector mean that radicle timetables cannot be effected.

At the same time,neither can the classes  be split into managable sizes to adhere to health protocols.

Thousands of teachers are aged.
Several teachers are in their fifties,an age bracket that health experts says is the most vulnarable.

It is hard for such teachers to work from home and if they are to be absent from school for health reasons then the  problem of understaffin’g will be intensified.

Professor Magoha said that the government was working with speed to see to it that schools have the health requirements.

These includes sanitisers, thermo guns and hand-washing tanks before they reopen.

Magoha was talking during his tour to Kitui County Textiles Centre (KicoTec) where he went to assess its capacity to manufacture quality face masks for school children. 

While taking him around , Kitui County government Charity Ngilu said that the factory was in a position to produce the required number of masks within the stipulated time frame.

In addition to the Kitui factory,Rivatex and the National Youth Service will also be given orders to produce the masks.

“There will be no negotiations about pupils wearing masks in school. This is giving me sleepless nights because in order to give each pupil two, we must produce 24 million in the next 45 days,” Prof Magoha said.

He added that the school heads will be required to report to the schools to be trained on how to handle covid 19 clasess and to ensure the station meets the required safety measures.

Governor Charity Ngilu assured the CS that the products to be produced by his team will be of high standards.

She said that the masks will be produced in accordance with prototype generated jointly by health and education experts, in order to ensure even smaller pupils are well protected.

The minimum requirements upon reopening have been outlined as clean running water and soap for hand washing or hand sanitizers.

Safety of the learners will be given a priority when learning resumes.

In light of that ,the objects that are frequently touched by students will be regularly disinfected.

These includes door knobs, light switches and stair railings.

If the Sunday Infotrack polls is anything to go by ,70 percent of the citizens are opposed to reopening of schools before the pandemic is fully contained.

On June 1, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked both education and health ministries to have a discussion on mordalities of re opening schools.

Going by the recent figures of covid-19 cases in Kenya,the pandemic is not yet contained,the curve is not flat yet.

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George Magoha:Teachers could undergo a mandatory covid-19 test before September 1.

Professor George Magoha with his counterparts from the ministry after inspectin’g the progress of face masks production at Rivatex-Eldoret.

Education cabinet secretary has said that teachers could have a mandatory covid-19 test before schools reopen in September 1.

“We are considering whether all teachers, who will resume work in September, will undergo Covid-19 tests,” he said.

The medical practitioners advised that similarly,all children also be tested and any that test positive to remain at home till recovery.

The big question therefore becomes whether the government has got the capacity to carry out such massive tests.

Last month,the medics also advised the governent to have in place , a carefully planned transport system in order to avoid school-home transmissions.

In addition to that, the government was also advised to not only provide students/ pupils with face masks but also ensure that they are properly used and regularly changed.

Accordin’g to the standard newspaper, in less than two months, 24 million face masks will be delivered to schools ahead of re-opening.

Professor Magoha said this after completion of inspection of the progress of manufacturing the protective gears for learners at Rivatex East Africa-Eldoret.

The CS said that “Once we agree on the prototype, then we will get the pricing so that when schools open in September, face masks will be in the institutions by mid-August as per the presidential directive.”

He also added that 5 companies ,including the National Youth Service ,have been engaged in the manufacture of face masks.

He said that as soon as the ministry of health approves the first design,then mass production at Rivatex will recommence.

In a statement, the director of Rivatex company Thomas Kipkurgat said that they have expanded their daily production up to 80,000 from 50,000.

He added that they are the highest producers of the gears compared to others.

Depending on the numbers that Rivatex is likely to be assigned by the ministry, the company may engage more garmemt-makers.

Proff. Magoha also said that ahead of resumption of learning in September, learning institutions will receive masks and sanitization items.

He added that they are still in a consultation with health ministry to establish whether learners in lower primary will be allowed to put on masks.

He also said that the president had directed that the masks be delivered to the learning institutions on time.

“We will soon reach a consensus on whether the pupils in primary one and primary two will wear masks,” he said.

Learners with special needs.
Magoha said that for the few learners with special needs, the government will provide transparent face masks.

For private schools,the CS said that the budgets excludes them. Only learners in public schools shall be cattered for.

Challenges implementing the measures.
The CS admitted that his ministry is facing challenges in implementing some measures such as social distancin’g.

He said that they will consider reducing the number of students/pupils at a time ,in a bid to reduce contacts.

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A glimmer of hope for BOM teachers.

Teachers employed on the Board of Management (BOM) terms from Kisumu County can now smell a glimmer of hope.

While talking to the media,the Kenya Union Of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) ,Kisumu branch Secretary general Zablon Awange urged the school principals to pay the teachers their salaries.

Mr. Zablon noted that the they have been suffering because of lack of money for upkeep since their salaries were  suspended following the Corona virus outbreak that prompted learning institutions closure.

He further urged the school heads to find it kind within their hearts to save teachers the shame of being subjected to poverty and give them some pay,however little it may be.

He continued to say that the teachers are agonized immensly, as some are not in a position to fend for their families due to lack of income.

“Principals should therefore look for a way to put this to effect.” He said.

The union boss also demanded that the government release the free secondary education funds as well as  that of Corona virus if it is indeed serious about schools reopening in September 1.

Accordin’g to him ,part of the money is to be used to mitigate the pandemic in schools besides payin’g the BOM teachers .

His plea to the government comes at a time when thousands of these teachers were sent on an unpaid leave.

Agonising fact.

With myriad of basic needs to support, families to take care of  and relatives to look after ,some of the teachers have not been paid since Corona virus struck Kenya.

The schools are alleged to have run short of funds since the government through education ministry has not released any funds.

Days have have turned to weeks and weeks to months without them setting eyes on a penny.

Sadly ,any attempts to have a listening ear from the ministry of education have proved futile.

Apparently, the government is  in bed with some of their representatives who ought to air their grievances.

Even if you are not a teacher ,take a look at this scenario -Each month you are expectant of something in your bank account , however meagre it is then suddenly ,this is brought to a halt. Traumatizing right??

People out there are used to seeing you in official wear each morning going to work and back .They obviously know something keeps coming at the end of the month.

With BOM teachers ,it is sufferin’g after sufferin’g.

After several lamentations,will the government hearken to the teachers’ cries??

Those on BOM terms have  been getting their pay through the ministry of education fee capitation.

What makes it so hard to pay them even just a half ,at a time when everyone is sufferin’g due to the lockdown?

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