Education cabinet secretary has lashed out at the Kenya National Union of Teachers, KNUT, for insisting that they ought to have been given a slot in the recently constituted national education covid-19 response committee. Knut’s secretary general Wilson Sossion has been vocal in the media over the exclusion. But prof. Magoha now says it is not feasible to have everybody in the committee and that the learners’ interests should supersede personal interests.
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“We are very serious about thinking what we need to do with our children and it’s not about everybody being there. Is the union represented, yes . We have put one unionist who will coordinate all the others and then, let us move to where we are going,” said the CS.
The CS had initially sidelined all teachers’ unions only to appoint a representative from the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers – KUPPET . The committee is currently collecting views from Kenyans on how best to reopen schools.
But, knut would hear none of this, noting that the government should not rush into reopening of the schools.
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The CS noted that most schools lacked adequate infrastructure to ensure social distancing among learners; something that must be addressed urgently before schools are reopened.
“In case we are thing about reopening, we shall need a situation where there is flowing water in most schools. we must also think to keep the social distance of one metre. And, therefore having six double deckers (beds) in the cubicle is something that we shall have to reconsider,” Prof. Magoha said.
This, according to the CS, will reduce infection and ensure learners’ safety in schools.
Speaking in Kiambu while on an inspection tour of Ruiru girls high school, this past week, the CS said reopening of schools would entirely depend on a paradigm shift in Kenyan’s behaviour.
“If we are going to be bold enough to open schools, the public must agree to change their mindset and behave in a more civilized manner,” he said.
This means that the public should henceforth abide by the health ministry’s guidelines on social distancing, wearing face masks and maintaining high levels of hygiene.
Magoha watered down the World Health Organisation’s thought that the virus could move from pandemic which is easier to deal with to endemic.
“I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. We need to give the virus a few more months to see how it will pan our,” he said.