TEACHERS TO REPORT TO THEIR RESPECTIVE SCHOOLS TWO WEEKS EARLIER FOR TRAINING AHEAD OF THE SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 SCHOOLS’ REOPENING DATE
All tutors in Kenya will be expected to report to their various work stations 14 days before the official schools’ reopening date on September 1, 2020.
According to CS Magoha, it is pertinent that teachers are taken through rigorous training on the various mitigation measures in the event of Covid-19 within their schools.
The CS said this on Wednesday as he was inspecting the sewing of masks meant for learners at the Kitui Textile Industry.
“We will need teachers in school two weeks earlier because they need to be trained on Covid-19,” said CS Magoha.
The CS also hinted that teachers, who are likely to resume duty in September 2020 may undergo Covid-19 testing to ascertain their status.
This announcement comes even as the education ministry is yet to disclose the fine details of the process especially when it comes to the cost of testing the over 300, 000 tutors currently employed by the TSC, BOM, and Private School teachers.
Employees in other sectors such as the Hotel industry have in the past complained about the high testing cost.
Therefore, the Government needs to clarify on how teachers’ tests will be catered for.
Are Teachers fully covered for Coronavirus by TSC-Contracted MINET-AON insurance?
The next key question that is mindboggling is the safety of teachers in schools even as the ministry plans to reopen schools.
Currently, a teacher in Kenya mans a class of approximately 50-60 learners in primary and secondary schools. If these huge classes are not split as proposed by health experts into clusters of 15-20 learners in a class, then it is obvious that the social distancing rule will not be achieved.
Besides, the CS made it clear in a high-profile summit chaired by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta that it will be unrealistic to expect the government to expand infrastructure within schools to enforce the social distancing rule since it has taken ages to build what is within our vicinity in public schools.
My point is the teachers manning these classes will be exposed to the coronavirus. Therefore, the teachers’ employer, TSC should first liaise with Minet-AON insurance Provider to ensure that teachers are fully covered for Covid-19 before sending them to their “slaughter-houses.”
On risk allowance, we saw medics who are tending to coronavirus patients being given extra stipends for putting their lives on the line.
There is no much difference between medics and teachers especially now that they will be trained on how to deal with such positive cases within the classroom set-up.
It is high time the teachers’ unions woke up from their untimely slumber and demand for what rightfully belongs to their faithful adherents, teachers.
KUPPET and KNUT need to bargain for teachers given the risk that they will be exposed to if schools reopen in September.
Another elephant in the room is the presence of teachers within the high-risk ages. Most of these teachers are currently serving as senior teachers, senior masters, deputies, headteachers, or principals. They, therefore, play a key role in the management of learning institutions.
According to covid-19 statistics, most victims who succumb to the illness are aged 50 and above given that they are likely to be predisposed to other age-related health conditions such as diabetes that compromise their immune system.
How is the Ministry planning to shield such teachers from the imminent danger likely to be posed by the novel coronavirus?