World Teachers Day: Kenyan teachers celebrate fete outside classrooms - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 5 October 2020

World Teachers Day: Kenyan teachers celebrate fete outside classrooms


Teachers across the world mark World Teachers Day today, a day celebrated on October 5 every year to acknowledge and appreciate the teaching profession worldwide.

This year’s celebration is however unique as the majority of teachers experiencing challenges brought by the novel coronavirus.

Kenya, just like other countries across the globe has not been speared by the virus that has left some of them jobless, with others severely affected by the virus.

The Government of Kenya announced in March the closure of all the learning institutions as a precaution measure to prevent teachers and students from the disease.

Since then, life has never been the same for some of the teachers who were teaching in private schools as well as the owners.

The Teachers Service Commission has been paying its teachers' salaries since then even after being dormant at homes waiting for the resumption of leaning.

On Monday, TSC chairperson Lydia Nzomo said teachers have made invaluable contributions in shaping the destiny of humanity in society.

“Teachers are the light of the world, the beacon in the dark, and the hope that gives communities the world over strength to survive.

Nzomo noted that the pandemic has added to the many challenges faced by the already overstretched education systems.

“However, it has also unique opportunities for teachers to provide leadership in relation to response in crisis and help and help the world communities reimagine the future of education,” she said.

Nzomo said the commission will continue to work with teachers and other stakeholders in the education sector to protect the right to education.

The commission’s CEO Dr Nancy Macharia said teachers have been forefront solders in sharing the Ministry of Health guidelines to the locals.

Macharia said that many teachers have been busy engaging leaners in academics, life skills, and guidance and counselling.

The TSC boss also recognised some of the teachers including Stephen Onditi for training learners on how to rare chicken in Homa Bay county, Elizabeth Kadzo for rescuing the girl child from early marriages in Mombasa among others.

“The commission is proud of all Kenyan teachers for staying safe and ensuring that their loved are also safe. Your efforts have contributed to the flattening of the curve,” Macharia said.

She added that “Once we resume teaching, the commission is confident that with your dedication and creativity, you will work hard to make up for the lost time.

The commission has, however, not disclosed the number of teachers might have succumbed to the virus or affected.

The government has so far indicated phased reopening of schools, all universities, and Tvets being prioritised.

Education CS George Magoha had announced that universities, teachers’ and technical training colleges would be reopened today, October 5.

The reopening will begin with all final year students in universities and students taking final exams in teachers' and technical training colleges.

“The boards of TVETs and TTCs will announce the resumption of in-person for the other classes with consideration given to those taking practical courses,” Magoha said.

University councils and senates have been instructed to determine the appropriate dates for resumption of other students. 

To safeguard those to report back, the ministry directed that all learning institutions enforce strict Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

President Uhuru Kenyatta during his 12th Covid address to the nation last month said that the country should not rush to reopen schools in the expense of children as the virus continue to bite.

Uhuru said the schools should only be reopened once their safety in the school environment has been assured to be safe.

As the virus caseload in the country approach 40,000, the fate of the teachers who had been employed in private schools continues to toil to make the ends meet.

Some have turned as mama mbogas, hawkers, and some have been enrolled into the ongoing Kazi Mtaani program.

Private schools have asked the government to consider teachers in their institutions as a vulnerable group as they stay without pay.

Private schools suspended salaries for their teachers over the coronavirus outbreak that forced the closure of all learning institutions but maintain they will not sack them.

Kenya Private Schools Association chief executive officer Peter Ndoro had warned that teachers could be staring at five months of no pay.

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