KUPPET Questions Teachers’ Safety In Schools Amid Reopening Preparations
The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), Nakuru branch has expressed concerns after a school principal succumbed to Covid-19, just a few days to schools’ reopening.
Jomo Kenyatta Girls High School Principal Catherine Cheruiyot died on Christmas Eve at Nakuru Nursing Home where she had been admitted.
Kuppet Nakuru Branch Executive Secretary, Eliud Wanjohi said that the sudden death of Ms Cheruiyot is a big blow to the union and has raised concerns over the safety of teachers when learning institutions reopen on January 4, 2021.
“In as much as it is the responsibility of an individual to protect themselves from infections of Covid-19, the government has done very little in schools to guarantee the safety of learners and teachers,” Mr Wanjohi said.
He noted that no school in Nakuru County has constructed extra classes to create more space for social distancing among learners.
“With only days remaining to the reopening date, there is no guarantee that schools in Nakuru will observe social distancing rules as per the Ministry of Health’s guidelines,” he said.
According to the ES, the government has failed to provide resources for construction of more classrooms yet majority of schools in the region have more than 60 students per stream.
“If we have to go by the Ministry of Health guidelines as far as social distancing rules are concerned, each stream is required to hold 20 students only. That means if there is an average of 60 students per stream per class, then it means additional two classes have to be constructed per stream,” Mr. Wanjohi said.
He warned that at the current pace, schools should prepare for the worst when learning resumes next month.
“We have had candidates and Grade Four pupils in schools since October and dozens have been infected with Covid-19. What will be the case if all students and pupils report back to their schools?” Mr Wanjohi asked.
Wanjohi called on the government to ensure vaccination against Covid-19 is done on all teachers and students.
He faulted the government for rushing to announce the reopening date without achieving any necessary measures to protect teachers and learners.
“The Ministry of Education should have ensured that all learners and tutors are vaccinated before allowing them to report back to school,” the Kuppet official said. Next.