Tag Archives: Teachers’ lounge

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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George Magoha:Students might learn in shifts should schools reopen in September.

The cabinet secretary of Education Professor George Omore Magoha yesterday  said that students might take turns in learning should schools resume in September.

The ministry of education is contemplating having students attend schools in shifts in order to comply with health education guidelines on social distancin’g.

Candidate Classes

The CS said that if that is to happen,priority will be given to transition classes, and finalists or examination cohorts in schools, universities, teacher training colleges and TVET institutions.

According to the standard newspaper, in primary and secondary Schools, focus will be on Class Eight and Form Four candidates.

The transition of Grade Four pupils under the Competency-Based Curriculum is also critical as the government is expected to implement a national roll-out of the new system to Grade Five next year.

Professor Magoha is still studying a number of scenarios presented to him in case schools reopen come September.

These proposals were made by the Covid-19 Education Response Committee set up by the CS to advise him on the reopening of all basic learning institutions and tertiary institutions.

The CS added that the decisions to have learning institutions open in September have not been fully reached and can change anytime.

Amon’g the factors that might lead to the change include increased knowledge of the Corona virus and the prevailing circumstances within the country.

Proposals on table
One option is to have a section of learners attend school in the mornin’g and others in the afternoon.

Next is to have a section attend school for a week or month then the others to do the same in an alternate fashion.

Still,the CS is contemplating having various classes spread accross two or three days of the week.

For example,the candidate class could attend school from Monday to Wednesday then the rest comes in from Thursday while the former group stays back.

To equalise the number of days attended,a group that attended school for three days the previous week would go for two days the following week.

The sequence would continue throughout the term.

According to sources ,conversant with the modalities, the latter proposal would be ideal as far as equal provision of education is concerned.

The candidate classes will have ample time preparing for final examinations while at the same the other groups continue to learn without being left behind.

In another proposal,a section of learners are to attend school for one term as the others stay back at home in alternating fashion.

This however was rejected. Experts Said that the period that has been taken by students at home is enough and it would be unwise to extend it further when schools finnaly resume.

The CS  assured all stake holders that necessary measures are taken to ensure that right decisions regarding school reopening are taken.

He added that several measures are to be  considered after consulting with relevant stake holders.

Some of the measures includes:
Having fewer learners at schools to reduce contact in order to avoid any deaths that might occur as a result of reopening.

Teacher’s Roles

Teachers to implement social distancing rules, handwashing with soap, use of hand sanitisers, wearing of masks or face shields, and monitoring temperatures to reduce the risk of infection.

Some teachers who spoke said that to have all these measures implemented then it’s wise to have staff number boosted.

They argued that as may be the case with learners,teachers who are on duty this week may also alternate with a different group the following week.

With all these proposals,the question therefore becomes,how possible will their implementation be in boarding schools??

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Education:7 demands by KNUT before schools reopen in September 1.

pupils in a discussion forum within the school compound.

Teachers have given an array of conditions they want met before resuming learning come September.

1.Teachers to serve within their localities.
Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) to do away with delocalization policy that saw many teachers work away from their homes.

Through KNUT Secretary General wilson Sossion,teachers said that in accordance with Ministry of health guidelines, they should be allowed to work within their areas of residence to avoid spreading the virus.

To effect this,they asked the employer to reogarnise staffing with a view to minimising movements.

According to Sossion, posting of teachers should be done within their localities or in areas where they have established their homes to minimise movement as possible.

He argued that teachers posted away from their homes or family members always extend weekends to visit their families.

TSC boss Dr. Nancy Macharia

2.Teachers be inducted on Measures to lessen Covid 19, safety measures and effects of the virus.

The firebrand Secretary general said that teachers must first be trained on how to deal with Corona virus professionally, psychologically and emotionally as well as related stigma.

3.Setting up of emergency Health facilities.
They also want the employer to set up treatment centres to handle cases that might arise after resumption and throughout the term.

4.Special attention be given to teachers with 55years of age and above and those that might have underlying medical conditions such as cancer,high blood pressure and diabetes.

He added that about 50,000 of teachers fall within the high risk age hence need for proper deployment strategies.

KNUT secretary general Wilson Sossion

5.An affirmative action plan for war-striken counties such as Garissa ,Wajir,Mandera and Tana River to increase the number of teachers.

He said that to implement social distancing with high number of students currently in the government schools,more than 400,000 teachers must be employed.

6.A class to contain a maximum of 15 students/pupils. This would mean that a review of staffing be done.

7.TSC to absorb all teachers who are qualified and registered by the Commission.

In connection to this, he proposes that all interns be employed on permanent and pensionable terms to help check understaffin’g.

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