The covid-19 period has made and on the equal measure broken leaders whom people perceived as outstanding in the past. One of them is the Cabinet secretary for education Prof. George Magoha. This is the man who streamlined programmes in University of Nairobi and even brought stability to the extent that there was no students’ rampage for 8 years. He was regarded as an individual who believed in the rule of law and equality for everyone.
On June 7, President Uhuru Kenyatta stated that the schools might reopen in September something that a good professor who has become a sycophant lately took it as a law. If you listen to his speeches lately, he mentions the name of the president twice in each sentence: at the beginning and the end. By wanting to prove to the head state that he can indeed accomplish his directions on school and colleges reopening the Professor came up with backward measures and utterly them publicly to show that he was working.
After dictating the Covid-19 education team, they came up absurd resolutions. All 16m students to have three masks each provided for by the government. This one seems better and achievable. He cancelled the parades and other meetings that might bring the whole population of learners together. Again this can be easily achieved. The good professor went on to demand that only 25 learners will be allowed in class. He said publicly that government will construct more classrooms in all public schools in Kenya before September and also provide more desks to learners. The treasury through the budget read by the Cs Ukur Yattani allocated sh. 700m as capitation for schools to carter for improvement of infrastructure in schools both primary and secondary. The amount cannot even manage to construct stream per school in all schools in the smallest county in Kenya like Lamu.
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From the budget sh. 10B was allocated to employ 10,000 intern teachers. The Cs was confident the teachers will be able to help in dealing with the increased number of classrooms. National schools like Chavakali, Kamusinga, Mang’u etc and many extra county schools have over 10 streams per class. By reducing the students’ numbers to 25, it means more classrooms of almost equal number ought to be constructed. Where is the money and man power to handle the learners? Even if each school gets one extra teacher will be a mirage to achieve the intended outcome. “Space in the boarding areas is very limited; most schools depend on triple-decker beds. Water has also been a problem and these areas need to be looked at… Also we need to recruit and employ new teachers,” Misori said. That means Magoha was only seeing social distancing problem in classes and not the dormitories.
Prof. Magoha is his wisdom directed that all teachers both in public and private schools must be tested before schools resume. He elaborated that ought to be done because one teacher can infect 200 learners. According to him, students could have resumed back with no single one being positive of covid-19. The only danger posed is by teachers and not even other school workers. Now, let take you back to arithmetic a little bit. The average number of tested cases in Kenya per day stands at 3000 people day. Sources reveal that the MOH has very many samples untested. It takes over one week to release the results. So far Kenya has tested slightly 200,000 people since March this year. The number of teachers in Kenya is 300,000. Where will the MOH get kits to test all of them? How long will it take? What’s the surety that all learners will not be infected? Magoha could not spare time and interrogate the resolutions before coming to show his intellectual inadequacy in public.
Representatives of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, the parents’ association, school heads, private schools and university representatives saved the face of professor by informing the President that the resolutions in place won’t be achieved. That prompted the president to expunge the education issue from his speech. The president was to announce the September reopening of all institutions basing on information on the table from Cs Magoha. The professor should be taken back to that theatre room and not Jogoo house.
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