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KUPPET Asks For Three Re-Usable Masks Per Learner As Schools Prepare For Reopening

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has implored the Ministry of Education together with the Ministry of Health to ensure that all students receive three re-usable masks each with schools likely to reopen in October.

“The government should ensure every student has a mask that will be bought by the government of Kenya,” said KUPPET chairman Omboko Milemba.

There are approximately 12 million learners in basic education institutions (primary and secondary schools). The KUPPET Chairman feels the cost of these masks will be in the Kshs. 1 Billion marks.

Education stakeholders throughout the country are increasingly optimistic about the reopening of schools in October with preparations underway as teachers and heads of institutions have been ordered by their employer TSC to be in schools as from Monday 28th, 2020.

Omboko Milemba is also of the opinion that schools should have plenty of clean water for washing hands and sanitizers be made available in schools so that the required health protocols given by the Ministry of Health may be followed. The KUPPET chairperson also suggested this will not be hard to do as it will only require the installation of water tanks in schools.

What was a more surprising statement from KUPPET was the suggestion that children who had been attending private schools be identified and transferred to public schools. This is because since schools were closed in March in order to curb the spread of COVID-19, all learning institutions were closed including private schools. This paralyzed learning and has now threatened the future of private schools. They are at risk of being gotten rid of unless the Ministry of Education does something to prevent this.

“The government should take the responsibility of identifying which private schools closed down and have students who had been attending these private schools transferred to public schools,” said the KUPPET chairperson.

Milemba also felt that schools should be opened in order to avoid losing a generation of students who have been stuck at home. He was of the opinion that reopening should begin with candidate students than those in class seven and those in form three. The rest of the cohort should follow suit thereafter.

“The Ministry of Education and Cabinet Secretary of Education should request for more funds from the Treasury before the reopening of schools. The money should be disbursed to public schools in order to allow the institutions to be able to meet their needs after six months with no work and funds to carry out their day-to-day activities.

KUPPET also addressed the problematic issues surrounding the school calendar, curriculum, and syllabus coverage that have troubled the minds of many Kenyans. Many Kenyans are worried that the six-month break in the school calendar will change the entire term dates of all basic education institutions. Milemba assured Kenyans that these issues will be solved by teachers, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), and the Ministry of Education.

“We should have faith in our teachers. They will work on the curriculum, teach the curriculum in this term and make sure that the exam can be done in time,” said Milemba.

Events leading up to reopening will give a better picture of the reopening of schools will give a better picture of how schools are prepared for reopening. Students will now wait anxiously for schools to reopen in October to resume learning. Repeating will also not be an issue if schools reopen in October as the school calendar can be adjusted accordingly.

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