All teachers will undergo mandatory covid-19 tests before resuming duties; as one of the schools’ reopening pre-requisites. This announcement has been made by education cabinet secretary Prof George Magoha.
The CS was Speaking during a meeting with principals of Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) at the Kenya School of Government in Embu County. According to Magoha teachers testing positive for the disease will be excused from duty.
“We must test all the teachers before they go to class. They are not many, but if a teacher is Covid-19 positive, he or she has to stay at home, ” Said CS Magoha.
“It is not his or her fault. I could be Covid-19 positive as I talk to you now and I am as strong as an eagle.” he added.
How the government intends to test the over 300,000 teachers would be a riddle considering the current limited testing capacity.
The CS has been sending mixed signals on the fate of schools’ reopening. His latest remark that schools shall only resume once the covid-19 curve flattens casts a doubt over any hopes of having kids back to school in September. July has seen a spike in numbers of covid-19 patients.
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The President had earlier instructed the ministry of education to draft a new schools’ calendar by mid August.
As part of the ministry’s preparations, over 22 million masks are being produced to be given to learners; with each of them receiving two re-usable masks. The ministry officials have also been traversing the whole country to check on facilities. A major concern has been raised on the limited facilities that may not accommodate social distancing; which is one of the measures fronted by the Ministry of education to fight the spread of the deadly disease. All schools should also have clean, running tap water to enable continuous hand washing.
Thermo guns will also be availed at all learning institutions to monitor temperatures of learners, teachers and other school workers.
The ministry has at the same time announced that teachers will report to schools two weeks in advance (before learners are re-admitted). This will enable the tutors to undergo training on how to handle the covid-19 pandemic.
It is highly expected that universities and other tertiary learning institutions will re-open first before basic learning institutions welcome learners back.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to give a State of the Nation address on Monday; with Kenyans sharply divided on whether current restrictions should be lifted or not.