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Here is the amount of money the government needs to roll out online lessons in public schools.

For effective online lessons in public schools ,the government will have to part with a total of Ksh 61 billion.

The money would be used for installation of necessary Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure such as purchasing laptops for classes four to six as well as internet connection.

According to the ICT cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru,another 15 billion would be required for internet connectivity to schools.

He added that implementation of Digital literacy programme had been greatly affected by the National treasury’s decision to slash 3/4 of its budget.

“If we get the money we can be able to fast-track the process,” said Mr Mucheru.

Committee chair Alice Milgo accused treasury for cutting the budget saying that Education faces new challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“We must prepare ahead of time so that when schools open in January we are not caught off guard,” said Dr Milgo.

ICT Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng’ said the National Treasury dealt a major blow to the programme.

“With enough resources we can roll out learning devices within a single financial year,” said Mr Ochieng’.

The adoption of digital learning that was to take place in two faces was dealt a blow by this year’s massive budgetary slashes ,New curriculum Implementation and Covid-19 crisis.

Mr. Mucheru said that finding the right model to be adopted for the second phase of DLP had been frustrated by implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and the emergence of coronavirus.

He added that Implementation of the project’s second phase,dubbed proof of concept is being piloted.

As opposed to the first phase,Phase two targets advanced Learners.

The digital learning programme will be implemented in 26 counties by an association between Moi university and JP SA Couto.

In the rest of the counties,the consortium of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Positivo BGH was picked to implement the project.

“There are 470 schools targeted for piloting – 10 schools per county- and acquisition and assembling of devices is expected to start from September to December, to be ready for distribution to schools in January,” said Mucheru.

He added that majority of upper classes in public schools will get laptops ,connected to the internet earliest next year July.

The government’s plan to renovate 8000 schools each year for the next three years to cover a total of 24,000 schools is underway.

The Ministry of Education also plans to renovate each school to meet the requirements of CBC, lab/learning environment.

“ICT Authority, is also in the process of acquiring additional devices for the remaining schools, as well as devices for Grades Four to Grade Six and more teacher devices,” said Mucheru.

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Body of Missing Highschool teacher found in a city river.

If Jane Waruguru were alive today,she would be attending to family matters in her South C Home or probably coaching her second-born KCSE candidate ,she being a teacher.

However,she cannot.

According to The Star,Jane on the night of June 14 had told her husband Samuel Ndegwa she would go to town the following day to guarantee a Sacco loan for a teacher colleague from St Angela’s Girls High School in Kiambu.

That would mark the last time Jane was heard from.

In the evining,attempts to reach her through phone calls were in futility.

Exactly two months since her disappearance,the decomposed body of the teacher was on Friday last week found by police on the banks of a river in a forest along the Eastern Bypass, North Airport Road in Nairobi. 

The unrecognisable body was taken to City mortuary.

The husband ,Ndegwa who was called by the police since they had compiled a list of missing bodies and family contacts managed to recognise Jane’s Clothes and teeth pattern.

The family has for two months been on the search,making phone calls here and there and visiting one police station to the next, just in case she was involved in an accident.

Finding the body is a reprieve for the family who can now moarn and have the matter behind them.

“We have searched for her every single day since June 15 and it has been an incredibly harrowing ordeal. We are a step to closure,” Ndegwa said.

He asked for an exhaustive postmortem analysis and DNA matching before the body is released owing to the extend of decomposition it had undergone.

The father and daughter on Monday gave DNA samples.

Although the police have not yet said that it was murder,chances are high that it was, but the question becomes,who wanted Jane dead?

“I don’t know who could have killed her or how. You don’t want anybody to go through what we are going through,” the widower said.

He eulogised the wife as quiet and hardworking lady whose class was always at the top.

Jane was always at her home ,doing physical exercises ever since schools were closed due to Covid-19.

“We identified her by her tooth pattern and the clothes she wore last. However, the police still want us to do a DNA match to confirm our claim to the body,” Ndegwa said.

The family want the body for burial soonest so they can heal from the tragedy even as police launch investigations into the matter.

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Blow to teachers as court dismisses bid to release Union Dues.

The Labour court in Nairobi has dismissed an application by a teachers union to recover at least Sh600 million from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Justice Maureen Onyango ruled that the order for the release of the money owed to the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) by the TSC can only be done after hearing the entire case.

The judge also dismissed Knut’s plea to jail TSC’s CEO Nancy Macharia for two years based on claims that she disobeyed court orders by failing to remit the union dues.

Justice Maureen Onyango

According to the judge, TSC had convinced her that it failed to make the remittances as it had already paid teachers by the time Knut was serving it with the orders.

“I am satisfied by the explanation given by the respondent and the continued goodwill in the remittance of union dues in the following months save for the month of December, 2019, which has been attributed to technical hitches,” she observed.

According to Knut, the TSC had not remitted deductions for four months. The union told the court that TSC went ahead to interfere with its members’ register despite orders that the commission should not meddle with union affairs.

The TSC has denied the claims, arguing that it directed all employees to re-confirm their membership to respective unions in the teaching service after complaints from teachers about unauthorised deductions in their payslips.

The teachers’ employer has denied claims that it raided Knut’s register and removed 130,000 members to kill the union.

Instead, the TSC insists that teachers left Knut after it emerged that a court ruling on Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) that was being rolled out by the employer denied them new salary benefits.

In a report of a National Assembly Education Committee sitting that took place last week, Macharia said the commission was unable to act against the court ruling.

When the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was signed, it introduced a new grading system for teachers known as Career Progression Guidelines, which replaced the Scheme of Service.

But Knut challenged the implementation of CPG in court,” said Macharia.

The effect of the court ruling meant that all Knut members could not benefit from the third and fourth phase of the multi-billion salary raise and promotions.

“To comply with the resultant court orders, the commission undertook teacher promotion in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code of regulation for teachers and the scheme of service for all Knut members and CPG for non-members,” she said.

National Assembly Education Committee chair Florence Mutua promised a review of the code in readiness for the next CBA negotiations to avoid future disputes.

On Knut members, Macharia said the TSC acted based on Knut members’ requests to leave the union and that it does not play a role in unions register.

On agency fees, TSC said Knut was yet to get an order from the Labour Cabinet Secretary to effect deductions from its members.

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Source:The Standard Newspaper

6 Activities to expect before National Rollout of Community Based learning.

Teachers ,parents and even some Education Ministry officials have been wondering how the Community Based Programme will be implemented.

The programme raised more questions that answers as different stakeholders doubted its success.

However ,the ministry plans to undertake the following ativities ahead of the programme’s national roll out to ensure its success;

1. Parliament to discuss and approve Community Based Learning implementation guidelines given by the Teachers Service Commission.

2.Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to come up with teaching and learning guide for teachers to use in implementating the programme.

3. All Education Officials who will take part in the programme to be trained and their duties elaborated.

They include regional directors, county directors, sub-county directors and curriculum support officers among others.

4. Teachers to be trained on how to go about the Community Based Learning Implementation.

5.Chiefs and their assistants to identify and map out venues to be used for learning.

These will include open spaces in school compounds, churches and social halls.

6. Chiefs and assistant Chiefs to allocate learners classes where they will be taking their weekly four-hour lessons.

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Why Nyumba Kumi Learning Will not take place any time soon

Implementation of community Based learning may not take place this month.

Several activities must be undertaken by Parliament,Health ,Interior and Education Ministries as well as Teachers service Commission (TSC) ahead of its commencement.

Part of the reasons is the fact that parliament has not validated the programme’s guidelines that were given by TSC prior to its full implementation.

Education Cabinet Secretary had said in Eldoret that Community Based learning had not only received parliamentary Education Committee’s approval but also that of teachers’ unions and other Education stakeholders.

TSC boss Nancy Macharia.

It has since emerged that the parliament which must be involved in the approval and rollout of the process is not even aware of the guidelines.

Sources indicates that a meeting is to be convened between Education officials and Legislators.

The aim is to take the MPs through the guidelines and to approve the whole Programme.

Moreover ,a teaching guide must also be prepared by The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for teachers before the programme can start.

Education officials and teachers who will take part in the program must also undergo training.

Upon completion of teachers registration, Ministry of Education through TSC is expected to assign them classes with at most 15 learners.

Chiefs and their assistants must therefore identify venues to be used for learning.

Last week,It was resolved in a meeting between TSC and Education Ministry officials that open spaces in school compounds, churches and social halls be utilised for the community Based learning.

Learners will only be assigned classes after learning venues have been identified.

The meeting also resolved that all learning activities to take place in the zonal levels.

Training of officials

Before the programme is rolled out Nationally,all the regional directors, county directors, sub-county directors and curriculum support officers must first be trained.

Teachers who will be the key implementors of the programme will have their training last.

The commnuity Based teaching will not focus on syllabus completion rather soft skills and values including;

  • Hygiene and sanitisation 
  • Weeding,
  • Cultivating,
  • Grazing animals,
  • Storytelling,
  • Debating,
  • Hygiene and other related activities.

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Open schools or else we meet in court-Lawyer to Magoha.

Even as the Ministry of Education prepares to implement the Community Based learning ,there’s a looming legal battle between parents and the ministry.

Education Cabinet secretary professor George Magoha had said that learning will resume in January owing to the high numbers of Covid-19 infections currently.

Lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui has now written to CS Magoha demanding that schools be opened ,else they battle it out in court.

Lawyer Kinyanjui with former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu

Mr. Kinyanjui says he represents school-going children, who are headed by a Mr Enock Aura.

The lawyer wondered how the government could open houses of worship and restaurants at the expense of Schools.

He argues that compared to schools,the social places are more detrimental when it comes to spreading COVID-19.

“You cannot rationally claim closure of schools on the ostensible risk of our children being exposed to coronavirus infections in schools as though there are special incubation points that pose a higher or greater danger than these social points stated,” Kinyanjui wrote in his demand.

The letter dated 14th is also copied to Attoney General Kihara Kariuki and Ministry of Health.

The demand however come at a time when the Teachers Service Commission is at the verge of mobilising learners to attend classes near their homes.

Concerns have however been raised over availability of enough halls and spaces in the estates and villages.

The Secondary School Heads Association national chairman,Mr. Kahi Indimuli said that parents may opt to take their children to bearby schools so as to minimise transport and boarding coast.

Kinyanjui gave examples of Sweden, UK, Taiwan, Germany, France, Italy, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, DRC, Netherlands, Denmark, Uruguay, and most states in the USA that re-opened schools despite Covid-19 risk.

Kenya Yesterday recorded 7 covid-19 fatalities and 515 more positive cases from a sample size of 6,353.

672 recoveries were also recorded bringing the total to 15,970.

So far,fatalities and total confirmed cases stands at 472 and 29,849 respectively.

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If you don’t want to teach, don’t-Magoha to neysayers

If you don’t want to teach the children then don’t, Education CS George Magoha has said.

Magoha was speaking in regards to community learning  where teachers are expected to play a key role in engaging with learners during disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Turning around and twisting the concept of community teaching is regrettable. it was meant to teach the children in the locality that they live in,” he said.

Read Also:TSC directs Teachers to register and immediately commence Community Based Teaching

Speaking in Eldoret on Friday, Magoha said there is a lot of hot air going around in regards to community learning.

“I’m hearing a lot of hot air…If you live in a gated area that has 30 children and there is one teacher there, why are you saying you need PPEs? ” he said.

“If you don’t want to teach the children then don’t. Do not bother! The children belong to you. It is as simple as that.” 

Noting that the government will not open schools, Magoha said Kenyans should not think that the government brought coronavirus.

Have you also checked the TSC home-based Learning Guidelines?

” Nobody is happy about closing the institutions. In the US, for example, where they have kind of reopened schools, 100,000 school children have already caught the virus. And going by the percentages, maybe between 500 and 1,000 will die,” he said.

“We shall not open the schools. community learning is not about opening the schools.”

He said community learning is about life lessons.

“People think that going to school is about paper and pen. There are many things to teach the children,” he said.

“I can paint, plant a tree. What tells you education is about passing an exam?”

The Teachers Service Commission issued guidelines for the community learning programme.

Read Also :The government was right  in its decision to close Schools-Magoha

CEO Nancy Macharia in a notice said the guidelines followed extensive consultation with all stakeholders in the education sector.

Macharia said the objective of the programme is to engage learners in productive activities with a view to acquiring basic knowledge related to the pandemic and other practical life skills.

Source:The star Newspaper



How Confusion Rocked Day One of Magoha’s Nyumba Kumi Learning.

Community-based learning kicked off on a very low note yesterday, Kenyan Bell has established.

Teachers who are the key drivers of this program were not even aware that they were supposed to register by TSC field officials.

On the other hand Chiefs and their assistants, also key players in the implementation of the programme, were not aware of their roles as they had not received any communication from the ministry.

In the confusion were also parents and students who were waiting to see how learners are to be engaged by the government ahead of January opening.


County and sub-county directors are expected to coordinate the programme in accordance with circular released on Tuesday by TSC  CEO Nancy Macharia.

“You are expected to work seamlessly as a team and put in place strategies to coordinate, monitor and supervise the teaching and learning at sub-county and zonal level,”  the circular reads.

Miss Macharia also urged teachers to identify suitable places such as halls and open-air where they can conduct teaching.

She said that the aim of engaging learners is to help them acquire basic knowledge related to the pandemic and other practical life skills.

Some teachers said that they had not received guidelines on the plan.

“We are on standby in case we receive the guidelines,” said Kereri Girls High School principal Teresia Atieno.

The program did not also kick off in Bomet and Kericho Counties.

Bomet Knut secretary Malel Langat said that TSC is going to find supervising teachers as they implement the program very challenging.

Teachers from the coast asked the government to provide them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE ) before they can begin the task.

The government should also map out Covid-19 hotspots. A little allowance will also help,” said Knut official Dan Aloo.

In Laikipia, Nyahururu deputy county commissioner Patrick Muli said they were awaiting details from education officials regarding the programme.


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TSC urges Teachers to Register with relevant officers and immediately Commence Nyumba Kumi teaching.

Teachers have been directed by the employer to give details of current areas of residence and immediately commence the community based teaching.

This is a sigh of relief for parents whose children have been loitering since the schools were closed due to corona virus pandemic.

“The commission has directed that all teachers under its employment shall undertake community-based learning without charging parents, with effect from August 12, until further notice,” stated a circular released by TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia yesterday.

“All teachers employed by the commission are directed to register with curriculum support officers and sub-county directors within zones and sub-counties where they are currently staying by August 12 (yesterday),” stated the circular.

Going by a circular dated August 11th ,TSC boss Dr Nancy Macharia County and sub County directors to begin an immediate registration of teachers.

According to sources, the government intends to use the plan for purposes of rehearsing schools opening.

Primary and secondary school heads revealed that they had been instructed to be in school at least once a week to monitor the progress of the program.

This means that schools might be used in the program owing to the fact that some urban areas have no open spaces where learning can be conducted.

“Most villages and estates do not have halls or huge open spaces to facilitate this kind of learning. This means that schools will be used to teach,” said one secondary school teacher.

TSC in its guidelines had directed teachers to conduct lessons not containing more than 15 learners 4 hours a day .

Teachers should also ensure strict adherence to the ministry of health guidelines on mitigating coronavirus.

“Organise the learners as much as possible according to their classes and/or age to ensure that topics under discussion are relevant, suitable and appropriate,” states the guidelines.

Syllabus Coverage.


The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association national chairman Mr. Kahi Indimuli said that the difference in Schoos and classes of learners to be taught poses a challenge to teaching the syllabus at the moment.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association national chairman Mr. Kahi Indimuli.

Coupled with difference I n syllabus coverage,Learnes may not be at the same level. He added.

TSC directed teachers to in addition to life skills and values such as grazing and farming, engage learners in numeracy and reading.

The tutors are also expected to utilise technology;television ,radio and other online platforms to capture learners’ attentions.

Teachers who abscond Duty


TSC said that the code of regulations and code of conduct and ethics for teachers shall be applied throughout the programme in warning teachers who will engage in a malpractice or abscond duty.

The Macharia led commision will collaborate with Ministry of interior to ensure that all learners take part im the programme.

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First Years joining university could pay tripple tuition fees if a proposal by Vc’s succeeds.

Those supposed to join the universities could pay tripple tuition fees if the proposal by vice-chancellors is adopted.

Currently ksh 16,000 is paid for tuition but this could rise to ksh 48,000 to compensate for scarcity of resources following abolition of self-sponsored students programme in 2015.

“It is proposed that tuition fees paid by government-sponsored student should be raised to Sh48,000 and that the increase takes effect for the new intake of government-sponsored students only,” the VCs say in a document. 

If the proposal is effected,those students that sat for their kcse in 2019 could be the first to pay the amount.

According to the University bosses, during the adoption of 16,000 fees in 1989  the annual cost of taking a student through college was Sh120,000.

The figure has since hightened to Sh254,644 per year.

The government has however increased funding for each student with the new cohort allocated Sh171,051 on average. 

“The government funding combined with the direct fees paid by students falls short, with Sh67,593 of the total estimate to annual cost of taking a student through university… roughly 25 per cent of the total cost,”  the document reads.

The fee increase is part of other proposals by managers to revive the ailing university sector.

The proposal was prepared by vice-chancellors committee chair Prof Muluvi of South Eastern Kenya University.

In order to protect learners from the proposed fee increase,the vice chancellors proposes that HELB increase the amount of Loan given to them.

“The amount of Helb loans and bursary extended to students from needy backgrounds should be increased at an agreed proportion to the approved fee increase,” they say.

Helb boss Charles Ringera however said he is not aware of the proposal and that it may interfere with the financial planning.

“Remember, Helb has a fixed budget from Treasury as voted by Parliament year on year. This year, it is Sh16.5 billion with with the Exchequer finding Sh11.3 billion and AIA coming in at Sh5.2 billion,” Ringera said.

Learners to use Smart phones during lessons according to TSC guidelines for home-based teaching.

In the Guidelines given by the teachers’ Service Commission:

A session will have no more than 15 learners and will last for 4 hours everyday.

Learners will be grouped based on their ages and clasess.

For purposes of planning face to face learning, teachers will have to register education officials within their localities.

While adhering to health ministry regulations classes will take place in open places such as under shades as well as halls.

During the lessons

Learners will be engaged in life skills as well as values such as weed control,farming ,grazing animals, storytelling, planting, debating life issues and hygiene, among others.

In addition to the values,teachers will also guide and councel and at the same time offer psychosocial support in accordance with teachers’ code of regulations.

Moreover,teachers will engage learners in numeracy and language .

Age and classes

Teachers will be able to cover a part of the syllabus that was interrupted due to Covid-19 outbreak in March.

Grading

With emphasis on peer learning,group works will be organised and grading done.

“The teachers should use discussion groups during learning and even grading can be done among peers,” reads the draft guideline. 

Mornitoring

The commission will monitor and supervise the programme through decentralised services at regional, county and zonal level.

Teachers’ involvement in the program will be monitored by county and sub-county directors and curriculum support officers.

Teachers service Commission also requires that teachers registers with curriculum support officers and sub-county directors within their current areas of residence.

Teachers will oversee and monitor learners progress and give the feedback to curriculum support officers.

Learner participation in the programme will be monitored by the Ministry of interior.

Pedagogical practices such as group work, peer feedback and blended or ‘flipped’ learning will also be emphasised by teachers. These same activities may also be conducted online to ensure learners’ attention is captured.

Use of smartphones

Learners will be allowed to use digital devices such as laptops, tablets and smart phones during lessons.

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Kenyan Lecturer wins prestigious Royal Society Africa Prize,to get about ksh 2.4 million.

A Kenyan Lecturer has hit headlines not only in Africa but globally after winning this year’s Royal Society Africa Prize for the best scientific research.

Professor Steven Runo of Kenyatta University was last week named the winner of the award aimed at recognising the African best performing scientific researchers.

He is set to get cash prize of British Sterling Pounds 15,000 or Sh2.1 million for research plus additional personal cash award of British Pounds 2,000s (Sh280,000) and a bronze medal.

He will be hornoured with the awards in London towards the end of this year.

“The Royal Society Africa Prize 2020 is awarded to Dr Steven Runo for elucidating pathways for long distance RNA trafficking between parasitic plants and their hosts and identifying and developing transgenic protocol for characterising and validating candidate host and parasite genes,” the Society said in a statement.

Runo says his research was driven by the desire to bring a change in the society as far as food security is concerned.

Who is Professor Runo?

Professor Runo is a specialist in plant molecular Biology at Kenyatta University.

He heads the institution’s Biochemistry Microbiology and Biotechnology Department.

In his area of specialisation ,Runo attempts to look at plant nutrients and how modifying plants biological composition can make them parasite-resistant.

The research

His research focused on how the nutrients can be used to control weeds.

Of interest to him was a common weed in Western Kenya with pink colours that kills maize, sorghum and millet called striga or whitchweed.

He studied the nutrients taken up by striga and with that knowledge grafted similar but poisonous variety of the nutrients that is injected in the host crops to make it resistant to parasitic attacks.

The research majorly focused on three food crops ,ie sorghum, maize and millet which are the common hosts for striga.

He said that he aims at helping the farmers to ensure that they get value out of their sweat.

He has therefore opted to work with Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research (Kalro) centres in Kibos in Kisumu County, Alupe in Busia and Mbita in Homa Bay and seed companies to translate academic research into practical use rather than limiting the research to KU laboratories.

The research was an extension of his PHD in plant molecular biology which he did through a collaborative Programme between US based University of Carliforniia and Kenyatta University.

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