Tag Archives: Opinion

Why Professor Magoha is justified to push school re-opening dates even to 2022.

Disclaimer:The views expressed in this article are my personal opinions and do not in any way reflect Cabinet secretary Prof Magoha’s plans in his line of duty.

Even as I write this article,it is my hope that a vaccine be found soonest.

However before then, doors to the buildings in all learning institutions should remain locked.

Before you ‘fire salvo’ at the Kenya’s Education cabinet secretary George Magoha over plans to postpone opening dates even further ,think of countries such as HongKong that closed back schools barely a month after opening, after experiencing a third wave of covid-19 infections.

Learners taking examinations in Hongkong.

Excuse me,how does Hongkong and Kenya compare in terms of economy and by extension ,preparedness to mitigate the spread of the virus?

Before you begin enumerating countries that have managed to open schools world over ,ask yourself the measures that they put in place pre-opening then look at them against Kenya’s.

Teachers’ and learners not Guinea pigs.


As a parent, get to know that your child and his/her teacher are not guinea pigs or rats in an experiment to test whether or not it is safe to reopen schools.

Learning institutions were in March closed following confirmation of just one case of covid-19.

The figures currently stands at 24,411 as of yesterday and you want schools opened ,are you mad?

Social distancing.

Hardly can learners interactions be restricted while in schools meaning even with masks on, infections are still bound to occur,again at a higher rate.

A class in progress in China,social distancing enhanced to curb spread of Covid-19.

You might argue that teachers will take care of them and ensure they put on masks at all times and maintain social distance as well. Since when did teachers become health care givers to do all these?

Even the proposed open-air learning should schools re-open is practically impossible. Think of the afternoon rains.Where will lerners have shelter in case of a heavy down pour? Definitely classrooms and you know how risky that can be.

Hospitals overwhelmed


Health facilities might be overwhelmed if infections increase among learners owing to the fact that home based care may not be an option in case of emergencies.

If you want schools opened without sacrificing teachers,learners and relatives who are studying, then it is prudent to have them closed till that time when it will be scientifically safe to do so.

Of concern to me are learners with special needs. Take an example of a paraplegic learner who will have to frequently adjust his/her mask in case it’s not well positioned.

The young ones with autism and language and communication difficulties needs time to be trained to master an instruction.

Before you fully train them on Social distancing and wearing of masks,they shall have contracted the disease.Is that what you want?

I hold the view that health supersedes education but if you have a contrary opinion then You should be reported to Ugandan president Museveni for some militaristic discipline.


By Belfast Brian , a special Needs Education Teacher.


HOW VISIBLE ARE OUR YOUTH FRIENDLY SERVICES (YFS) CENTRES TO THE YOUTH?

The COVID 19 pandemic that we are currently experiencing has presented the entire Country with challenges , barriers as well as lessons that will drive the country’s growth going forward.

We therefore need to wake up and ensure that our systems are operational and are being fully implemented especially at the grassroots level in order to strengthen the already existing structures.

As we all know ,in the past few months when many have been staying at home in a bid to limit the spread of corona virus, increased cases of Sexual and Gender Based (SGBV) Violence in form of Rape ,Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Early forced marriages have been reported.

The overall result has been escalated cases of teen pregnancies.

With each passing day , these numbers are significantly rising and this leaves a question of: Where are we going wrong?

Women and girls who are the most vulnerable especially during this period of COVID19 pandemic are being preyed on.

With so much focus shifted to curbing increase in infections,we are slowly losing the gains we have made so far in addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls in Kenya.


Moreover, over the past few weeks, I have held conversations with victims of such cases and one of the things that I have been concentrating on is; HOW VISIBLE ARE the Youth Friendly Services (YFS) being provided within existing standalone or integrated health facilities or CENTRES?


I came to a sad realization that many youths/teens especially in the rural areas are neither aware of the existence of YFS nor have they heard of such,leave alone the services they offer.

Also, the active centres are not so visible and reliable.

Having in mind that these are centres where we, as young people need to seek help on matters Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) ,them remaining invisible means that more cases will be recorded.

Many youths in the village do not know where to get knowledge on contraceptive services that are instrumental in mitigating the menace of Teen Pregnancies.

YFS centres are established to be youth friendly and therefore all youths need to be made aware that they can have such places where help can be offered.

I call upon all of us, SRHR advocates and other agencies in the same field to push for the visibility of our YFS centres!

Let us mobilise ourselves, reach out to the stakeholders and push them in equiping these centres with proffesionals, relevant materials and of all, MAKE THEM VISIBLE.

Let us help our teens to know where to get help when faced with SRH issues make them aware of their SRH rights, this way, we will be on the right track.

Its our duty, a collective duty!

*The writter is a SRHR Advocate*

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Why some teachers have chosen to”suffer” despite their education.

Hello beloved teachers? It is my hope that this finds you fine.

Well ,if I may ask ;
1) Is there any of you who can predict when the pandemic will end?
2) Those that are employed by TSC ,do you think the government will continue paying you at the comfort of your home, if the surge in Covid-19 cases continues?

As you ponder over those two questions, my conscience tells me that there is no such time when we shall showcase our innovativeness than this.

If the beautiful certificates  cannot help at the moment ,drop them and find alternatives.

Remember opportunities are plenty for they that can think broadly. You shall not continue waiting for date 25,topping up loan after loan. No I refuse!!!

For the TSC interns ,I feel it’s high time you stopped talking about the never ending “confirmation, confirmation,confirmation”.

It pains me when a teacher of business, properly equipped with skills in economics,financial accounting,Management ,enterpreneuship,strategic management still complain of meagre salary or lack of employment by TSC.

As if that is not enough, a computer teacher who can easily blog and earn money in whichever niche he selects, who can either design websites for sale or offer online computer training still Laments how unfair the government is.

The worst of all is the agriculture teacher located in rural area with vast land complaining about unemployment.

Do you not feel ashamed ,having acquired skills in animal and crop husbandry?

Mathematics teachers,with all the calculus, probability and related courses,why haven’t you applied the same in a business?

I’m trying to underscore the fact that each of the teaching subjects has an opportunity for he that thinks broadly.

The grammar Nazi’s and the linguists  who upto this point have identified a million grammatical and spelling “mistakes” in this article, what makes you think that you can’t have a news,fashion or a blog on any niche of interest or just do academic writing and earn something out of it?

Before I bore you ,I appeal to all of us to get out of the comfort zones,do away with the official clothes and get hands on.

You’ll still be respectable if you sell Omena,grains , clothes,vegetables or charcoal, won’t you?

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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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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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8 Benefits of Covid-19 pandemic you must know.

In as much as Coronavirus pandemic has had ravaging effects since its outbreak in China’s Wuhan, it is worth noting the positive side of it.

1. The world has come to realize the benefits of home remedies to diseases.
Latest  of all is the Madagascar’s Covidorganics that allegedly has cured many. Despite criticism,especially from Wold Health Organisation ,at least it is a stride made. Better try and fail than not trying at all.

2. Reduction in air pollution. With a ban on travelling as one of the intervention measures, air pollution has significantly reduced. Both automobile and air travels have been for a period halted in some countries meaning no emission of toxic gases into the atmosphere.

3.people have learned to keep hygiene.
Hand washing using alcohol- based hand rub or soap,respiratory hygiene, avoiding crowded places, avoiding touching nose, eyes and ears have all been the norm.

General sanitation has helped keep off other ailments besides Corona itself, for example typhoid. Some of these important practices are likely to live with us even after the virus vanishes.

4. African nations now have a chance to grow.
Unlike in the past when African leaders sought medical services from overseas, not one of those countries is willing to admit any foreigners presently.

Their boarders are closed and focus shifted entirely to their taxpayers. This means that Africa has no option but to better its own health system.

5. Corporates have realized that working from home is possible.
The lockdown has proved that productivity suffers not even when employees execute some duties from home. In fact,some companies argues that working from home cuts cost immensely.

6. Growth of online businesses
With communication sectors not seriously affected by the pandemic, the lockdown has seen emergence of many bloggers in different niches, affiliate marketers and online businesses.

If you think this is a lie, have you not received the “work from home at the comfort of your living room” kind of texts?

7. Children have gotten full parental attention.
With the post-modern busy economy, so engrossed in jobs have parents been to the extent of having little or no time for their children. Presently, if a parent must leave for work, then by 7pm he is likely back to the house cuddling the kids or the partner.

8. Reduction in road accidents.
Majority of people are locked down in their homes with the number travelling being so low. Public service vehicles also carry less number of passengers than before.

Drivers therefore are not in a hurry to get more passengers which means no over speeding and overloading. The latter two have been the root cause of casualties on our roads.

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