Tag Archives: Teachers’ lounge

Why private school teachers should not blame their institutions for the tough times they are undergoing.

If there is one thing that several private school teachers will remember Corona virus pandemic for,then it is the economic impact.

While many have lost their jobs,several others have been sent on unpaid as the schools entirely depend on school fees for paying them .

As a result of the financial crisis due to corona virus pandemic,many of the teachers have been ejected from their rented homes.

Majority are unable to take care of their medical bills probably because their institutions halted remittance of statutory deductions to National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

In consequence ,the stranded teachers have resorted to menial jobs such as building and construction ,commonly known as mjengo, fishing ,farming and Hawking among others

Worst of all ,others have been thrown to very serious mental distress.

The institutions also have no reason to smile whatsoever as huge bills continue to accumulate ,something that is said could lead to total closure of many of them.

They (private schools) have further been pushed to the wall by education ministry stakeholders’ decision to push opening dates to early next year if the infection curve flattens.

Coupled with Professor Magoha’s directive to have institutions return second and third terms school fees ,they are further affected greatly.

Kisumu’s elite school is a perfect example  having sent home all 18 teachers on unpaid leave.

The director who doubles as the Kisumu county Secretary general Mr. Michael Oliech said that initially ,they thought they could receive part of Covid-19 fund ,part of which they would use to cushion teachers.

Because that has not been effected, they have no option but wait untill that time when schools shall re-open.

Victoria breeze academy was no exemption. The director , Methuselah Fridah said that the teachers they sent on unpaid have explored alternatives.

Subukia’s eagele Apex retained 6 teachers who were unable to raise rent after schools were closed. However,30 percent of its staff was sent home.

Prof Mirriam Kinyua, the proprietor of Kagaki Schools, said she has spent much of her savings on unavoidable expenses such as insurance policies and statutory deductions.

“I had a discussion with my staff. I am still remitting their NHIF and NSSF deductions on humanitarian grounds. I am avoiding a situation where one would fall sick and lack access to healthcare,” said Kinyua.

PCEA church sponsored  St. Nina’s school asked the parents for financial support by paying an advance school fees of 2000 to help run certain programmes in the schools and pay some bills.

 “Our humble request is for your financial support of Sh2,000 as advance school fees payment to facilitate urgent school programmes. The fees paid will be factored in the term during which the schools will reopen,” a circular to parents read.

The head teacher ,James Gathoga divulged that they have been struggling to meet its incurring its recurring expenses.

Embu’s Tenri primary school took away teachers allowances with a pay for the permanently employed staff but the casuals were laid off.

The school also took to online teaching besides asking parents to pay future fees at a discount.

Worse still,other schools have been forced to close. They say that even if schools shall re open there will be need for government’s bail out if they are to remain in the business.

Other schools asked the parents to consider transferring their children to other schools as they contemplated total closure of the Institutions.

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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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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

Promotion
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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KNUT demands for Capitation to schools in order to pay support staff.

The Kenya National Union of teachers (KNUT) has asked the government to urgently release the 30 per cent capitation allocated to schools to pay support staff and for utilities.

According to the Daily Nation, The officials from Union’s Kakamega branch expressed worry after several cases of theft in schools were reported.

They said that school properties are at stake since there’s no security.

Since schools were closed following Corona Virus outbreak in March,the guards have not been paid hence no guarantee of security.

“The property in schools is at stake because the guards hired by the institutions and other support staff have not been paid after schools were closed in March following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a matter the Ministry of Education needs to address urgently to ensure school property is safeguarded,” said Mr Patrick Chungani, Kakamega County Knut chairman.

The union also demanded that the government facilitates the school heads to carry on with normal operations.

Some of these include filing of returns as well as travelling to the Institutions to keep an eye on the properties and prepare reports.

Mr. Chungani said that the government seems to have abandoned its roles in ensuring maintainance of schools and that those charged with the responsibility of keeping watch are paid irrespective of the situation in the country.

If the government does release the funds,they will be used to facilitate operations such as:

Local travel and transport
    – Support staff wages
    -Electricity
    -Water and conservancy


   
He gave  examples of Lirhanda Girls Secondary School and Malone Primary School in Ileho ,Kakamega East that he said several items among them computers had been stolen.

He told the ministry to release the funds and ensure that security of schools are ensured.

On the other hand,Kenya  Union of Post primary Education Teachers asked the government to vigorously fight for  children’s rights the same way it does to corruption.

The secretary general ,Akelo Misori said that ever since the schools were closed,learners have been sexually abused in the country.

“There is a sharp rise in cases of child labour, sexual exploitation and domestic violence,” he said.

He asked Education CS to come up with a multy agency task force to include civil society stakeholders to explore ways of strengthening child protection systems.

“The Sexual Offences Act should be enforced robustly by identifying and punishing adults preying on schoolgirls during the Covid-19 outbreak,” he said.

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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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Extension of Nancy Macharia’s term at TSC opposed.

The decision by Teachers Service Commission to extend Nancy Macharia’s tenure has been opposed by an activist group.

Nakuru high Court judge Monica Mbaru has been asked by Midrift Human Rights Network to declare the appointment of Macharia Null and Void.

The group bases on the argument  that the position must be filled through a competitive process.

It says that Teachers Service Commission never filled the position of the secretary competetively.

TSC decided to add miss Macharia 5 more years in office despite the fact that her tenure was to end on Tuesday.

Justice Monica Mbaru will be hearin’g Midrift’s application to suspend Ms Macharia’s reappointment on Monday.

Before then, TSC and Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki, the two respondents are expected to have filled responses.

“The TSC failed and/or refused to open the process of appointment of the Secretary to the Commission to competition in contravention of Article 232(g)(1) of the Constitution and section 16(1) of the TSC Act.”

“Ms Macharia’s reappointment is shrouded in mystery and opaqueness contrary to constitutionally enshrined principles of open and transparent governance in the public service.”

“I verily believe that it is imperative that the filling of the position of secretary be undertaken in accordance with constitutionally enshrined values and principles of the public service especially Article 232(g)(1) of the Constitution,” Midrift secretary-general Joseph Omondi says in court papers.

The lobby group has asked Justice Mbaru to stop the appointment of Macharia until that time when the court case shall be determined.

In a letter addressed to Mr. Kariuki, the law society of Kenya warned of law violations if an appointment is done without a competetive process in accordance with TSC act.

Havin’g been appointed as the secretary in 2015, Macharia’s 5 year term was to end on Tuesday.

The president of Law Society Of Kenya Mr. Nelson Havi said that they were aware that plans were underway to extend Macharia’s tenure by another 5years without subjecting her to a competetive process.

Mrs. Macharia’s term in office has been for a long time castigated by section of teachers due to what they termed dictatorial leadership approach.

Some accused her of Killin’g the Kenya National Union of teachers so that her policies cannot receive any opposition.

She was also accused of very strict policies that teachers consider inconsiderate with some calling for her quick departure from office.

Some of the complaints by teachers included Aon and NHIF deductions,banning of school based programmes and job appraisal policies just to mention a few.

Will she have her second term in office? The truth shall be known after court’s determination.

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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.

Universities.
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. 

Universities
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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