Schools Reopening Might Delay Against Ministry's Plans: Jwan

Schools Reopening Might Delay Against Ministry’s Plans: Jwan

It has emerged that reopening of schools may delay slightly since teachers are hesitant to take the covid-19 jab.

Out of more than 400,000 teachers in both public and private schools, only 52,420 teachers have been vaccinated. This number is a sum of both the targeted group of teachers and those who were not targeted in the first dose of vaccination.

Data from the Ministry of Health shows that less than half of the number of targeted teachers have been vaccinated.

The slow uptake of the vaccine by teachers now puts the fate of schools opening into question and this is of great concern to the ministry of education.

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Safety of teachers will be a key determinant in the reopening plans for in-person teaching as it emerged that they are the most vulnerable groups in the school set-up who urgently need the vaccine.

Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan pleaded with teachers to go for the vaccine. He said vaccination was one of the strong foundations of reopening schools as teachers would be assured of their safety.

“Teachers who will not have been vaccinated will be exposing themselves,” Jwan said. The PS, however, assured Kenyans that schools will reopen as planned. We shall be consulting the Ministry of Health and higher authorities on this matter,” said Jwan concerning schools reopening.

There are fears globally that astra Zeneca vaccine, which the Kenyan government has rolled out, causes blood clots among the vaccinated, which might lead to death or possible heart issues. So far, no fatality has been reported among those who have taken the jab. However, a section of teachers have reported some body changes, which last a few hours or days then disappear. Just like any other vaccine, astra Zeneca must cause these body changes and they should not worry those affected.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said about 110,000 teachers had been identified to be given priority in the vaccination drive. The teachers’ employer said the identified staff were 50 years and above as had been advised by the Ministry of Health. Of these, TSC said 92,850 teach in public schools, while 16,500 who fall under the high-risk category teach in private and international schools.

The targeted number of teachers in the first phase of the vaccination exercise is just a fraction of the total number of tutors in Kenyan schools.

There are 330,671 teachers working in public schools and 158,000 in private schools.


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