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Sossion Agrees with UNICEF and WHO That Children Are Safer In Schools

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education Prof George Magoha announced on Tuesday, October 6 that all basic education institutions in both private and public schools will reopen on Monday, October 12, 2020. Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary-general Wilson Sossion has defended CS Magoha’s decision to reopen schools saying learners will be safer in schools than at home.

Wilson Sossion has assured parents that the necessary measures issued by the Ministry of Health have been put in place to ensure that learners will be protected while in schools.

The KNUT Secretary-General has urged Kenyans to avoid complicating matters and politicizing the issue of reopening and instead give teachers the support they need to ensure reopen becomes a success by allowing their children to attend schools.

While speaking to Citizen TV on Tuesday, the nominated MP assured parents that there is no course for worry, as measures have been put in place despite the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

“From the assessment, we feel students are safer in schools than at home. We need students back in full time,” said Wilson Sossion.

Sossion also said that the decision was based on the directive of the Ministry of Health as the COVID-19 curve had flattened as the 5% positivity required has already been achieved.

“Teachers and students must be safe when schools reopen. Besides, if you look at the trend of the COVID-19 curve, it has flattened. After we got the green light from the medical experts, we have checked with stakeholders on how to prepare and we had to bring in teachers first so that they can prepare schools to receive students,” added Sossion.

Wilson Sossion insisted that even if the Ministry of Education delays reopening of schools until next year January, the COVID-19 containment measures might not be met 100%.

He said that teachers have been present in schools as they prepare to ensure necessary measures are achieved before the slated date of reopening.

“You cannot tell say to me that it is hard to avail water to schools, it is possible, and we cannot wait forever so that everyone is of the same opinion. Every school has a Board of Management and it shall be their responsibility to ensure schools are safe once they reopen”, said Sossion.

The KNUT Secretary-General implored Kenyans to accept that COVID-19 numbers might rise but medical centers have been linked to schools to ensure any reported suspected cases are handled as soon as possible.

“We expect one or two students will be registered as infected cases. However, we have done adequate preparations to deal with this issue when it happens,” added Sossion.

Form 4, Grade 4 and Class 8 learners to resume classes on Monday

Yesterday October 6, as we reported on Teacher.co.ke, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced the reopening of primary and secondary schools both public and private on Monday, October 12.

The reopening will be phased as indicated by the selected candidate classes. The students in form four are the only ones returning to schools as the Ministry of Education tries to ensure the social distancing directive given by the Ministry of Health is achievable, at least for the time being, in schools.

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams will begin on March 25 and be completed on April 16, 2021.

“Physical distancing will remain the elephant in the room. It should not be used as a reason to keep any child away from school.

All teachers are encouraged to provide psychological and spiritual support to students and schools’ support staff during the duration of the ongoing the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Education.

KUPPET Elections around the corner

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) is gearing up for elections in 2021. However, there is a feeling that the current crop of leaders is doing a good job.

KUPPET is enjoying a good relationship with the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). Peace between KUPPET and the two has led to a big number of teachers migrating from KNUT and joining KUPPET.

The implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has also been completed for KUPPET teachers while their KNUT counterparts are embroiled in a tussle with TSC as they fight for what they believe was part of the CBA agreement they were a part of.

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