Since the schools and colleges closed on March, 16th 2020 as directed by the president himself due to the spread of covid-19, the unionists have been jostling to make headlines day in day out. The Education Cabinet secretary Prof. George Magoha candidly elaborated on the reopening stalemate terming it beyond his powers and all will depend on the recommendation from the MOH.
Kenyans were asked to submit views to National Education Emergency Response Committee formed to look into the education matters moreso re-opening date for the learners. The committee is chaired by Dr. Sarah Ruto and already collected views from various stakeholders.
Currently the ministry of education is engaging the learners through media platform in all subjects. KNUT and KUPPET officials jointly attacked the ministry on what they termed as inefficiency in content delivery. Led by the KNUT secretary General Wilson Sossion, they condemned the Ministry of Education for lying to Kenyans that teaching goes on. What surprises teachers is, who are the union officials fighting for. Is it a matter of misplaced priority or looking for attention?
The Knut Secretary Wilson Sossion is adamant the children should repeat the entire year. “As country we are not ready to see our children get infected and more death”, he insisted. He said that nobody should propose re-opening of schools at the moment. He emphasized that it won’t be possible to follow the health procedures once the schools are re-opened. “We don’t know the trend of virus for now and we cannot take it casually”, Sossion said. The secretary general of the giant teachers union was speaking during the interview on Citizen TV.
On the other hand, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has proposed for the partial re-opening of schools from June. They propose the candidates to report first the rest later. The two unions have been holding their positions and condemning each other on the issue of learners returning back to school.
What are the roles of the teachers union? Are they over exercising their mandate? To what extent will the teachers benefit? Sometimes back the teachers unions were condemning the government for elongating the half-term period for one week. Seems funny but that’s the case unfortunately. Angered teachers were writing on social media’s unions handles.
As everyone appreciates the unions care for the safety of learners and teachers, they should not forget their mandate. For this case in time the government is exploring all avenues possible to see learners back in schools.
That’s why Education Cabinet Secretary Prof.George Magoha has constituted a 10-member committee that will be tasked with formulating the best possible ways to have schools re-opened. It will be chaired by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) chairperson Dr. Sarah Ruto.
The main stakeholders include;
Covid-19 Education Emergency Response Committee
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development
Dr. Sarah Ruto
Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association
Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association
Kenya Private Schools Association
Kenya Parents Association
Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops
Kenya Association of Independent International Schools
National Council of Churches of Kenya
Muslim Education Council
Kenya Special Schools Heads Association
The World Health Organisation(WHO) advised nations to look for ways of living with the existence of COVID-19 in their midst since it might be there for long. Thus countries and coming up with modalities of coping with the conditions with that knowledge in mind. The statement can necessitate the schools to reopen earlier than we initially imagined.