TSC DELOCALIZATION POLICY MAY BE QUASHED TO MINIMIZE TRAVEL IN THE WAKE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC; TSC NEWS
Concerned about the safety of the teachers, the union now wants the TSC to do away with the delocalization policy to minimize travel and chances of the coronavirus spread.
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The Kenya National Union of Teachers, KNUT has written a seven-page letter containing a range of measures that the TSC should take ahead of the reopening of schools.
One of the key measures that KNUT wants the TSC to give priority is to minimize traveling by delocalized teachers to visit their families over the weekends.
According to the union this is likely to increase the spread of the coronavirus in schools. Therefore, teachers should be allowed to work in their home areas.
“The delocalization policy should be repealed with immediate effect to allow teachers to serve in their localities. TSC should reorganize staffing to ensure zero movements,” wrote KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion.
Since the plan to reopen schools is underway, KNUT now wants the TSC to take advantage of the three months period to institute critical staffing changes.
TEACHERS SHOULD WORK NEAR THEIR HOMES
According to Sossion, the localization of tutors should be the new norm in the wake of the coronavirus. TSC should, therefore, post teachers near their home areas or where they have established permanent residence to reduce traveling.
“Chances of increased corona cases are high since teachers will move from one station to the other using diverse means of transport. For instance, tutors from rural areas are likely to take extended weekend breaks to visit their families,” added Sossion.
TEACHERS IN HIGH-RISK AGES TO BE GIVEN SPECIAL ATTENTION
According to the World Health Organization, WHO guidelines, teachers who fall in high-risk ages (55 years and above) and those with pre-existing medical conditions should be given special attention.
This is because death rates tend to increase for patients aged 50 years and above.
WHO data shows that the death rate for Covid-19 patients with less than 50 years is between 0.2-0.4 whereas that of patients between 50-59 years stands at 1.3%.
Currently, there are 50, 000 TSC-employed tutors who fall in high-risk ages.
KNUT is also proposing an affirmative action for North Eastern Counties to raise staffing numbers.
According to the union, the TSC needs an additional 400, 000 teachers to effectively implement social distancing among learners.
TEACHER: LEARNER RATIO
According to Sossion, a proper class size under the corona period should have a maximum of 15 learners.
Currently, the teacher: learner ratio in Kenya stands at 1:50 in primary schools. The current workload for high school teachers is 27 lessons per week.
KNUT now proposes that all TSC intern teachers be absorbed into permanent and pensionable basis and trained teachers currently working on BOM terms be absorbed by the Commission to bridge staffing gaps.
According to the TSC data presented in Parliament by Dr. Nancy Macharia in March 2020, the Commission is short of 125, 615 teachers. Post-primary institutions need 95, 258 more tutors while primary schools require 30, 357.