Teachers ordered back to school as Magoha talks tough on desks

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha. [File, Standard]

Teachers are required to report to their respective schools from now on or officially on Monday to fast-track the preparation for the re-opening of schools.

The resolution was made by a committee of stakeholders from the education sector that has been holed up in a meeting to craft measures for the reopening of schools. Addressing the media at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in Nairobi on Monday, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) CEO Dr Nancy Macharia said the committee resolved to have teachers back in schools to speed up the reopening of schools.

“We have deliberated as a committee and we are therefore now asking our teachers to report back to schools on Monday September 28, 2020, to prepare for the eventual reopening of schools,” said Dr Macharia.

She proceeded: “We will continue asking our teachers for their sacrifice, creativity, resilience and innovative sense they have had so that both learners and parents are assured of safety and syllabus coverage when schools do open…”

Dr Macharia said that the teachers are ready for the challenge and will be working around the clock to help the learners to recover their lost time and get the school calendar back on track.

She said: “We wish to assure the country that our teachers are totally prepared and ready to help our children recover the lost time and save the academic year was that at risk of being lost. We know our teachers will do this and we ask all of you to support them.”

The Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha however warned against misjudging the recommendation saying the schools have not reopened yet. Magoha said the teachers will ‘prepare schools for a possible reopening at a particular time.’

“We have not said schools are opening. We shall give you dates after appropriate government machinery has met,” he said.

The team of stakeholders encompassed the Ministry of Education, TSC, teachers’ unions such as Knut and Kuppet, doctors’ union, private schools, school heads, private schools and religious leaders.

Sh1.9 billion boost for desks

Prof Magoha seized the moment firing a warning over the expenditure of the Sh1.9 billion stimulus package, recently announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, in support of manufacture of desks for primary and secondary schools.

Magoha warned against speculation over the use of money meant for the furniture saying no scandal would cook in the ministry under his watch.

“I want to tell the nation that the scandal that the media is trying to create around these desks shall not take place if I am the cabinet secretary for education. We shall ensure the desks reach the schools.”” he said.

He then went ahead and cautioned those who may collude with artisans to benefit from the funds illegally that the only Jua Kali artisans with proven records will be contracted.

“I am aware that there are mandarins who are trying to manufacture these chairs in the dark room in the hope that they will go and seduce the Jua kali people. We are going to inspect Jua Kali people. The ones that will benefit are the ones that have the capacity to make these desks.”

According to the CS, secondary and primary schools will receive 50 and 70 desks per school respectively. Sub county commissioners have been entrusted with the procurement and distribution process, through which, wards will be used to map schools that should benefit.

He then warned heads of TVET institutions resisting transfers in the restructuring currently ongoing to obey the government directive.

“The president has tasked us to reengineer the TVET sector in this sector…If you have been transferred to another government institution, kindly hand over to the person who has come and move on unless otherwise.”

“If you refuse to move it means there is something you are doing there that you don’t want the government to know,” he added.

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