TSC recalls all its officers currently on leave ahead of schools’ opening
Uniform and textbook centres across the country are beehives following the planned reopening of all primary and secondary schools set to take place as from January 4.
Parents have been spotted this week purchasing school essentials especially face masks for their children this week.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has also not been left behind for the Commission has recalled all its field officers presently on leave to report to work in what seems like the final push by the government to secure schools before resumption of learning on Monday.
In a circular dated December 28 copied to all regional, county and sub-county directors, the TSC has directed that field officers resume duty to reinforce compliance of the Covid-19 protocols when schools resume on Monday.
“Together with other government agencies you are required to spearhead compliance of safety measures already put in place by Ministry of Health to contain and mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease within the school community,” wrote Dr. Nancy Macharia, TSC Chief Executive Officer in part.
Dr. Macharia, in the December 28 circular, also indicated that commission has already constituted a Covid-19 Technical and Response Team at the head office which will help coordinate and receive all reports from the field officers.
Teachers’ Critical Role once Schools Reopen on January 4
At school level, teachers are expected to constitute institutional Covid-19 response committees to coordinate effective response strategies in case of break-out.
The emergency response teams shall comprise five members, including one learner/trainee, one non-teaching staff, one BoM member and two teachers.
The latest directive by the TSC shows that the government will now solely rely on teachers for the successful resumption of schools and adherence to the stipulated Covid-19 safety protocols.
School Heads Cite Ill-Preparedness ahead of Reopening
This circular comes at a time when disturbing details have emerged after primary and secondary school heads said their institutions are ill-prepared to accomodate all the learners, citing inadequate hand-washing points and classrooms for the recommended social distancing.
Education CS Professor George Magoha has however maintained his hard stance insisting that the official reopening day for all learners remains January 4.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has also backed up the Education ministry advising that schools must reopen now, to curb further negative effects of delayed reopening.
“The best place for children to be now is in schools because even at home they are not isolated. The negative effects of prolonged stay out of school is devastating and it is paramount the children go back to school,” said Marilyn Hoar, Unicef Chief of Education.
Role of TSC Field Officers once Schools Reopen on January 4
Conducting physical monitoring and evaluation of all schools once they open to ensure the safety and welfare of learners and staff.
Liaising with school administrators to receive feedback on any challenges experienced in implementing the health protocols.
Identifying risks and deploying swift actions to mitigate such risks to safeguard effective curriculum implementation
creating a clear channel of communication and providing support and guidance to all institutional administrators.
The TSC officers will also be required to coordinate with the Ministry of Health and other trained teachers to offer psycho-social support to learners and teachers adversely affected by the pandemic.
Teachers will be required to develop criteria of identifying learners/trainees and staff who may require specialised psycho-social support and link them to certified counsellors or social workers.
TSC further directs that administrative measures to ensure no interruption of the school calendar activities be put in place.
The directive by the TSC will put pressure on school heads, who will bear the greatest responsibility of containing Covid-19 in schools.