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The government owes nobody an apology for closing schools-Magoha

The decision to have schools closed is in best interest of the learners.

These were Education Cabinet Secretary Professor Magoha’s sentiments yesterday at Kisumu’s Jaramogi Odinga Odinga Referral Hospital.

He said that the government is justified to have schools remain closed before the covid-19 curve flattens.

The CS argued that doing the opposite would lead to massive spread of the virus by learners.

“It is safer for our children to be at home, why do you want them to go and get killed in the schools,” he posed

 “Kenya has no apologies for locking up schools to safeguard the children of Kenya because every child has a right to live,” he said.

Magoha said the decision to close schools was reached after consultations with both ministries of health and Education stakeholders.

“What else do you want the government to do? It is not about an education…the question is do you want a dead child or a live child? So we are making a lot of noise about nothing,” He said.

In his company were Health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe for the daily Covid-19 status updates.

School Opening dates

The CS said that in as much as the the reopening date is currently set for January,the government will not hesitate to open before then on condition that the Covid-19 curve flattens.

“I said we are opening in January 2021, it could even be earlier if we flatten the curve earlier…what reason will I have to keep the children home? We never said we are closing our schools indefinitely and I don’t know where that came from,” the CS said.

Private schools closing down.

About concerns that some private schools might collapse following text ravaging effects of the virus,Magoha said that public schools have capacity to accomodate all students who will be affected.

Prolonged closure and refusal by some parents to pay school fees during this period has led to shut down of many.

On a positive note however,Magoha said that the Ministry of Education said Sh7 billion concessionary loans would be available to private school owners who qualify for it.

He urged parents with learners in private schools to pay a portion of school fees in order to prevent them from totally collapsing.

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How teachers are earning handsomely from private teaching as schools remain closed.

It takes wisdom for anyone to find an opportunity in any calamity.

Following Education Cabinet secretary Professor Magoha’s announcement that the president had okayed private teaching ,many teachers continue to reap big.

“He (Uhuru) suggested that as long as you keep safe social distancing, nothing stops you from engaging the children,” Magoha said in the past weeks.

He added that even those in the villages should find a way of engaging children around them.

In a bid to keep their children busy,several parents have pushed for private face to face teaching.

In certain estates in Nairobi,the weekly amount paid by parents range from 1,000 to as high as 5,000.

One such instance is managed by a Lina Anyango, a Global Teachers Prize finalist.

She has assembled six teachers who attend to learners in form one to four. On Fridays ,the teachers conducts mentorship programmes.

Besides this group,is another, that specialises in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,of course at a fee.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli however said that the private classes were premised on a misunderstanding of what the ministry had directed.

He said before such programmes can be implemented,there must be proper guidelines on the number of lerners to assemble and in which venue.

Mr. Indimuli added that there have to be protocols on identification and allocation of teachers to different classes.

“For now, we do not have the operating guidelines and we plead that teachers should not exploit parents. Parents should also be patient as ministry and TSC work on the way forward,” said Indimuli.

Teachers who are afraid of face to face learning have opted to have their children taught online.

Online learning

According to some parents, the online lessons offered by the ministry of education have not helped in keeping their children engaged.

Internet Abuse

The parent who is also a primary School teacher Said that she had discontinued online learning in order to minimise internet Abuse.

“They have been having online classes but after it, they spend so much time online meeting strangers and visiting wrong sites under the pretext of doing assignments and this has been a worry to me,” said the parent who is also a primary school teacher.

Parents in a fight with a school over ksh 45,000 enrollment fees.

The move by Brookhouse schools to charge ksh 45,000 before enrolling learners has been met by protest.

The parents associated with the institution termed the move illegal.

They said that they had been advised by a committee against heeding the call as doing so is tantamount to a new contract and an attempt to undermine the pending petition determination.

The School directed the parents to pay and re-enroll the learners latest Monday next week.

It was not clear however what would happen should a parent fail to heed the call.

An official has however said that the directive was misunderstood by parents.

In April,parents sued the school for exorbitantly charging its online classes.

According to the parents, the school demanded just for online classes despite other institutions discounting.

They said this same amount is always paid for face to face learning.

The case is however still pending in court.

In a later dated April 20th, the director of the school Mr John O’Connor,dismissed a section of the parents ,saying that majority were comfortable with the charges.

“While the school may not agree with some of the comments made in your letter, we move forward with a positive commitment to our whole school community in a spirit of mutual respect,” said Mr O’connor.

“We are collecting the data of our students to know who are willing to enroll and continue with our lessons.”

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Schools might not open in January as planned-Magoha

Even the opening date currently set in January is subject to change.

This was Magoha’s sentiment as he addressed National Assembly Education Committee in a virtual meeting on Thursday, August 6.

The Education cabinet secretary was however hesitant to reaffirm January opening dates before the committee.

He maintained his earlier sentiments that schools will only open on condition that covid-19 curve flattens for 14 consecutive days.

“Decisions regarding reopening of learning institutions may change as informed by prevailing circumstances and increased knowledge of Covid-19. If we open in January and there is a surge, we will step down and observe the trends. People have tried to open, like South Africa, and have shut again,” Magoha warned.

Further,he ruled out provision of National examinations (KCSE & KCPE) on grounds that allowing learners and tutors back to school in September could be detrimental as Covid-19 infections are set to rise come October .

Members of Parliament were piling pressure on Magoha to have examinations set based on what has been so far covered in the syllabus.

He however differed with the proposal arguing that Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) sets examinations based on syllabus coverage for 8 years and 4 years for primary and secondary schools respectively.

Based on the measures given by ministry of health, the CS however urged schools to prepare for opening in January.

“The authority to reopen for learning and research will be informed by MoH and my ministry based on dynamics of preparedness,” he added.

Education ministry also released funds meant for running schools for second and third terms as well as paying teachers employed on Board of Management terms.

Treasury deposited Ksh 3,725 per student. Magoha also received funds meant for upgrading schools.

The money will be used to build additional classrooms for secondary schools and hire more teachers.

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Woman left homeless after husband secretly sells their marital home.

A woman and her children are stranded after her husband secretly sold their matrimonial home.

Jennifer Akinyi sought to repossess the matrimonial home through the Environment and Land Court.

Her case was however dismissed in light of her sleeping on her rights to have the property registered under joint ownership agreement with the husband.

Justice Anne Omollo yesterday ruled that Akinyi’s husband Boniface Osodo cannot be blamed for selling a property he bought using his own money.

She blamed Akinyi of the problem facing her.

“The court could only interfere with the husband’s decision to dispose of the land if it was established that the sale was unlawful or meant to conceal fraudulent activities,” ruled Omollo.

“The court could only interfere with the husband’s decision to dispose of the land if it was established that the sale was unlawful or meant to conceal fraudulent activities,” ruled Omollo.

Akinyi accused her husband of selling their Busia matrimonial home to Alfred Juma and Edith Atieno without her consent as the wife.

She alleged that the land was a gift from her father-in-law after their 1985 wedding.

They occupied the land till she went to work in Britain.

Upon returning in 2015 with plans to develop their matrimonial home,she realised that the land had been sold by the husband.

Further,she claimed that the husband forged documents to effect the transfer to Juma and Atieno failing to have the interests of his family taken care of.

She also accused her husband of colluding with registrar of land in Busia to change the title of the land in favour of the buyers even after she put a notice against buying the land on the premise that it was a matrimonial home.

In response,Osodo said that he bought the land way back in 1981 with his own money before their marriage hence needed no spousal approval before selling it.

He stated that since the title was registered in his name, he used it as security to secure a loan from Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).

He said it was the financial challenges he experienced while serving the loan that made him sell the matrimonial home.

He added that he used part of the money to pay the loan.

Osodo further said that he was in the process of divorcing his wife with whom they have been married for 35 years hence needed did not have to seek her consent in selling the land.

In the Ruling,Justice Omollo said that there was no evidence that the land was a gift to the family.

“The wife has not produced any evidence to show the land was a gift from her father-in-law,” ruled the judge.

“I agree with the husband’s submission and evidence he provided to prove he purchased the property before their marriage.”

According to the judge, there was evidence that Osodo used part of the proceeds to settle the AFC loan.

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A man kills class 7 daughter for spending night out.

Police in Muhoroni have arrested a 48-year old man,alleged to have clobbered his 15- year old daughter for spending a night away from home.

According to The Standard,the incident occurred on Sunday evining in Keti Village ,Nyangoma ,Kisumu county.

Another daughter is also said to have sustained injuries from that same incident.

Sources say that the man summoned the two daughters who he accused of spending night out without his permission.

Upon their return,the father who suspected they were with their boyfriends began punishing them.

According to a witness,the girls’ explanation that they were at their aunt’s place fell into deaf ears.

He attacked the duo with a blunt object leading to one losing her counciousness.

Attempts to resuscitate her were in futility.

Upon realising that the girl was no more,the man hid the body and intended to dig a grave to burry the daughter without other family members’ knowledge.

Members of the public informed the police who swiftly responded,said Deputy County Commissioner Erick Wanyonyi.

They got to the home and found the man in the process of burrying the body.

He was taken to Chemelil police station and the body to Ahero Sub County Hospital Mogue.

Injuries were noted on the head and abdomen of the deceased who was a pupil at Nyalenya Primary School .

Wanyonyi said the suspect is set to be arraigned as soon as investigation into the matter is complete.

“I ask parents to look for alternative ways of disciplining their children at these time children are home because of the shutdown of schools due to coronavirus,” said Wanyonyi.

The man is expected to face murder charges.

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KUPPET seeks funds for setting up Covid-19 infrastructure.

Kenya Union of post primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) through its secretary general Akelo Misori has urged the government to release full capitation to schools to help implement Covid-19 mitigation measures.

He said that for health guidelines set out by the ministry of health to be fully implemented then the government should support schools.

“We urge the government to release full capitation funds for schools to enable them develop the infrastructure necessary for complying with Covid-19 protocols by January 2021,” said Misori in a statement. 

Misori made the remarks as he hailed the government for setting aside some funds for cushioning the BOM teachers.

He said that in addition to cushioning BOM teachers and other non-teaching staff members ,the funds will be used to meet obligations for utilities such as electricity, water, telephone and garbage collection.

“We thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha, for hearing the cries of the workers. BOM staff are indispensable to the normal functioning of public schools,” he added.”

He affirmed KUPPET’s support for the community Based learning in conjunction with Nyumba Kumi initiative.

“We urge our members to come up with creative ideas to engage the learners in their respective localities, estates and villages.

Our message to teachers is simple: Even as we coordinate with the multi-sectoral agencies, do not wait for chiefs and provincial administration officials to advise you on this programme,” Misori urged.

He said that the union will map the country with the aim of establishing its members that will be available for the effort.

“Away from curriculum subjects, teachers must bear in mind the social needs of these perilous times and provide a broad-based programme encompassing mentorship, guidance and counselling, hygiene and Covid-19 awareness, the nurturing of life skills, values and community service,” said Misori.

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Government to Facilitate Online Learning ahead of re-opening:Magoha

Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha has urged universities to intensify online teaching ahead of 2021 reopening.

He was talking at Maseno University where he went to assess how prepared the university is interms of of  Covid-19 mitigation.

The CS said that virtual learning is the only way to go ,considering the prevailing conditions in the country currently.

“Up to 70 per cent of our universities are going on with online learning while others have planned to conduct online graduations,”

Said Magoha

“The government is ready to offer facilitation for all universities to have virtual content as face to face learning remains suspended.”

He urged quality and adherence to standards set by the Commission for University Education.

Online graduations

Currently,the only universities that have conducted online graduations include Dedan Kimathi, Riara and Egerton.

University of Nairobi’s 63rd graduation ceremony is expected to take place on September 25th.

Magoha said that the government was prompted to push reopening dates to January next year from September this year because many haven’t met the Health Ministry regulations.

“The remaining period of about five months is enough for universities and colleges to put in place measures to curb the spread of the viral disease,” he said.

University Requirements.

The CS hailed Maseno University for ensuring social distancing and urged the vice Chancellor Professor Julius Nyabundi to increase the number of water points and automatic sanitizer dispenser.

Maseno University Vice Chancellor,Professor Julius Nyabundi.

Among the things that institutions are required to have include;

  • Enough hand-washing points.
  • Thermo guns
  • Equipped isolation facilities
  • Protective gear
  • Face masks.

Measures must also be put in place to ensure regular cleaning of doors, door knobs, light switches as well as stair rails.

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Head teacher defiles a minor,hides.

Police officers in Kisii are in pursuit of a head teacher who is alleged to have defiled a 15 year old girl then fled.

The man identified as Innocent Ogega is the head teacher of Bendera Primary School.

He went into hiding upon realising that the young girl had exposed him.

Having received treatment from the hospital,the victim’s mother says that the doctors’ reports confirms that indeed the girl was defiled.

The matter was reported at Nyacheki Police Station and the Kisii police Boss Jebel Munene said investigations are underway.

“We are looking for the suspect who has since gone into hiding,” said Mr Munene adding that the matter was reported to police by the girl’s mother.

According to the mother,she went to attend to her milk selling business but upon returning home never found her daughter.

The girl came back home after several hours and when asked where she had been ,she said that she was with the suspect, who is also her uncle.

According to the police boss,the suspect gave the young girl ksh 1000 and warned her against exposing him.

After being questioned by the police,the girl admitted that this was the second time the man defiled her.

Mr. Munene expressed worry about the soaring cases of defilment. Kisii has recorded at least 50 such cases since March.

Government statistics also shows that about 10,000 teenage pregnancies have been recorded in the past 11 months.

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Update: Chiefs to identify teachers to offer lessons under Magoha’s ‘Nyumba Kumi’ framework.

Learners who have been so much engrossed in playing during the pandemic will from september be expected to be taught within their localities.

Professor Magoha said that this will be in addition to the online lessons that have been in progress.

The CS argued that not all learners are accessed to Radio ,TV or internet hence the need for communal teaching.

Community Based Model of teaching.

Teachers will be expected to utilise under-tree shades,open spaces and social halls to offer learning services to students and pupils as they await January opening.

Roles of Chiefs.

During his Thursday press briefing ,the CS said that chiefs and Nyumba Kumi leaders will be activated to identify teachers who will offer lessons at no cost to parents.

Regardless of schools attended by pupils/students,teachers who have been receiving their salaries since corona virus struck the nation will be expected to teach learners in their locality.

Magoha argued that unlike majority of private school learners who have greatly benefited from online lessons,their counterparts in public schools have not fully benefited.

He added that the ministry is working in close collaboration with Teachers Service Commision to come up with the guidelines.

“The commission will be issuing the guidelines in a few days’ time on the implementation of the programme,” TSC boss Nancy Macharia said. She added that teachers are always ready to offer their services.

Covid-19 guidelines

Teachers will in the new approach put students in small groups and ensure that they sanitize,keep distance and wear mask throughout the lessons.

All learners within a particular locality including those in private schools will be expected to attend.

The CS also said that teachers will also be expected to teach learners good morals so as to stop engaging in premarital sex ,drug abuse and other harmful behaviour.

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A school ordered by court to reduce fees by 20%

Sabis international School has been ordered by a Nairobi court to cut fees by 20 percent ahead of January Opening.

While making the ruling,Justice James Makau said that parents cannot continue paying 100 percent fees at a time when learning has been disrupted by covid-19 pandemic.

He therefore directed the school to charge the parents 80% of the fees as had been agreed by the two parties,untill that time when Education Ministry announce re-opening dates.

Parents’ plea to have them pay 50% of the fees was however not granted by the judge.

The school argued that it was offering virtual lessons following the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The judge said that students in the school are not getting full package of the lessons due to Covid-19 interruptions hence parents’ consumer rights will be contravened.

“Pending hearing and subsequent determination of the petition a conservatory order staying the implementation of payment of full fees, the petitioners are allowed to offset up to and 20 percent of payment so as to pay 80 percent of payment of full fees for term three, of the school year 2019-2020 or until schools are re-opened under the directions of the Ministry of Education,” ruled Justice Makau.

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Teachers to teach at household level before schools re-open: Magoha

Education cabinet secretary Professor George magoha has announced that during this pandemic,teachers will offer services under frameworks similar to that of nyumba kumi.

In his address to the media today Thursday at the Kenya institute of curriculum development, he said that multi-agency team is set to map the country with the aim of having teachers offering lessons in their community.

“The teachers will teach values to learners under the Nyumba Kumi framework. TSC to issue guidelines on the new plan that will come at no cost to parents,” he said.

Education stakeholders noted that in as much as some lessons are being offered online ,some students cannot get access to the programmes.

The Ministry of Education and TSC, using a multi-agency approach, and in collaboration with chiefs and the Nyumba Kumi initiative, will implement a community-based learning approach where teachers will be mapped with learners to offer free learning.

The CS added that currently,the tertiary institutions are not ready for opening.

He said none of them will be opened till 2021 as the government continue to asssess  their readiness for opening.

He urged the universities to continue offering online teaching, examinations and even graduations.

“Universities should continue offering online programmes, including examinations and graduations.”

BOM Teachers Pay

Magoha further noted that funds meant for paying BOM teachers, security personnel and settling utilities have been set aside by the government.

The president in his monday address to the natiom called upon the CS to convene a meeting with stakeholders to discuss opening dates for schools.

Uhuru said any government institution, including all sporting facilities, stadia and educational institutions, upon designation by the Health CS as a public health facility, shall be availed to the ministry for isolation and quarantine purposes.

CS Magoha had previously announced that schools will re-open in 2021.

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