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BY UPESINEWS REPORTER,16TH JUNE,2020-The government has been urged to ensure that teachers and learners get personal protective equipment before resumption of classes .
Among those making proposals is the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) which is proposing a raft of administrative changes by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to make the education sector ready post the COVID-19 pandemic.
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion now wants teachers, learners and support staff to be equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when the institutions reopen.
He also proposed that schools and colleges that were used as testing, isolation or quarantine centres be fumigated and sanitized by Public Health Officers and given a clean bill of health by the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards before being reopened.
The KNUT boss, who made the recommendations in a letter to TSC boss Nancy Macharia dated June 12, 2020, proposed an overhaul of the commission’s strategic plan between 2019 and 2023.
Sossion wants the staffing norm which prescribes one teacher per class of 50 children in primary schools be altered saying the current numbers are inconsistent with the COVID-19 reality of social distancing guidelines and may affect the fight against the pandemic.
In addition, the teachers’ union is asking the TSC to consider the delocalization of teachers arguing that, due to the fact that many teachers moved to their rural homes amid the coronavirus outbreak, it would be better for them to be posted to schools near their homes to control the spread of the virus.
“Within these three months, TSC should be able to reroute teachers who had been delocalized back to their home areas,” said Sossion.
Sossion also asked the commission to immediately consider and resume the program for untrained teachers of Northern Kenya to enable them train learners in the area and settle the backlog of the syllabus which was also affected immensely by cases of insecurity late last year and beginning of this year.
He further called for the abolition of the Board of Management and intern teachers’ program and instead asked the teachers’ employer to give them permanent jobs as they recently lamented failure to receive salaries for as long as 4 months.
Among other recommendations made by KNUT is consideration of learners with disabilities, increased funds to TSC to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and improved staff room safety.