TSC URGED NOT TO “KILL” AGED TEACHERS AHEAD OF SCHOOLS’ REOPENING; EDUCATION NEWS
The Kenya National Union of Teachers, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion now wants the Teachers Service Commission, TSC to conduct a nation-wide health audit of all tutors who fall between 55 and 60 years ahead of schools’ reopening date.
Underlying Health Conditions
This check-up will help the TSC to assess the risk that these teachers are likely to be exposed to if schools reopen amidst the coronavirus pandemic in September 2020.
According to KNUT, sending teachers who fall within the high-risk age bracket (55-60 years) to congested schools without proper strategies will endanger the lives of over 50, 000 teachers.
“Some of these teachers already have underlying conditions; sending them to congested schools without a proper strategy will put their lives in danger,” said Sossion.
TSC Mass Recruitment of Teachers
Besides, the union also wants the Commission to initiate the massive recruitment of teachers before schools reopen to help ease the huge workload on teachers likely to be triggered by the social distancing rule.
According to KNUT, it is an open secret that the teacher: learner ratio will never be the same again in public schools.
Therefore, the TSC should address the issue of teacher shortages and give it more weight than infrastructure expansions since learning can even take place even under trees.
“We rather even delay infrastructure expansions but recruit adequate tutors who will take care of children when schools reopen, teaching can even be done under trees once we have the right numbers,” added Sossion.
NEW CLASS SIZES IN SCHOOLS
Class sizes have drastically reduced across the world following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
This, therefore, means change of tack even for Kenyan schools since we must embrace decongestion.
For instance, a school with 100 pupils per class will probably split the number to 20 per stream. This will definitely call for more teachers.
Even with the government planning on how best to reopen learning institutions in Kenya, there is always an elephant in the room-acute teacher shortages. This is an issue that the government has failed to address for decades now.
In March 2020, the TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia for instance appeared before the Parliamentary Education Committee to plead for more cash to employ teachers to plug the huge gap in the education sector but her plea was turned down on grounds that the Government does not have enough funds.
The Commission now plans to hire a total of 15, 000 new teachers under the new stimulus package.
TSC has been allocated Sh 3.2 billion to recruit 5, 000 teachers on permanent and pensionable terms and 10, 000 on an internship basis.
CONFIRMATION OF TSC INTERN TEACHERS
KNUT challenged the TSC to rationalize staffing norms in Kenyan schools within the three months period.
He added that TSC should absorb all teacher interns and 72, 000 teachers employed by school boards of management into permanent and pensionable terms.
Sossion also said that teachers must be retrained to adjust to the new coronavirus pandemic era.