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Status of Education in Africa


Teachers’ union urges staff to defy order to return to work

Governing associations and the teachers’ unions of South Africa have urged their staff on Friday not to follow the government’s order to return to work. Teachers were told to return to work next week but the unions do not agree as they claim schools are not ready for reopening.

They claim the schools do not have personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep pupils and educators safe. South Africa is the most industrialized state and it will reopen its economy on June 1, after two months of lockdown. COVID – 19 has caused a global recession and this reduction in spending has left many unemployed. President Cyril Ramaphosa imposed a necessary lockdown to help curb the spread of COVID – 19 on a scale not dissimilar to how Western Nations have been devastated.

South Africa has over 27,000 confirmed cases but there are only 577 deaths as a result of the novel coronavirus.

Basic education Minister Angie Motsheka said last week that schools would only reopen for grades 7 and 12, which applies to students of the last years of primary and secondary school, respectively.

“The system of education is not ready for the reopening of schools. If the delivery of the personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitizers has not been done by now, chances are slim for the resumption of schools on Monday,” the joint statement said.

“Therefore, we call on all schools not to reopen until the non – negotiables have been delivered.”

Motsheka urged teachers’ unions not to interfere with those who want to go back to school.

The South Africa economy returns to full capacity in most places as it moves to “level three” lockdown, as they lift a curfew, a restriction on outdoor exercise and the ban on selling of alcohol sales in addition to partly reopen schools.

The current situation in government schools is not good for reading especially in rural areas. Analysts say a quarter of the schools do not have running water. This makes handwashing nearly impossible.

The Human Rights Commission of South Africa, run by the government, urged the government to prepare better before the opening of schools.


Current Situation of education in Kenya

Status of Education in Africa
Education CS Prof George Magoha while receiving the Covid_19Ke National Education Committee Interim Report. [Photo/Courtesy]
In Kenya, on the other hand, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said the ministry will follow recommendations given by the Ministry of Health under the National Emergency Response Committee on COVID – 19.

Speaking at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) where he received a report from the Education Response Committee on COVID – 19 Prof Magoha said the government will heed and prioritize students’ welfare and staff working in all learning institutions. The Education response committee has nine members that advise the government on how the reopening of schools will happen.

“Instead of thinking so much about learning and examinations, teach the child what you know, like say how to milk a cow,” the CS said while giving an indication the ministry could review the calendar for education and national examinations if need be.

“If we are not going to be able to manage the way we want, then we must be prepared to wait for the right time and have our children at home.”

Prof. Magoha also said that the report received from the Education response committee on COVID – 19 will be released formally on June 4 when a one – month holiday extension will end.

“The ministry recognizes that the process of reopening schools won’t be a switch OFF and ON affair, but rather a carefully thought out and methodical process. This process must guarantee the health safety of all staff, learners, and teachers,” he said.

The National Emergency Response Committee on COVID – 19 will receive recommendations captured in the interim report for more consultations.

Data and evidence received by the MoH will be helpful in making painful but necessary decisions as a result of the novel Coronavirus.

“All educations stakeholders should be prepared to face the reality of the possible extension of schools, as our government will never sacrifice the health of our children for the sake of education. Education can wait to be offered at a later time when the health and safety of our children could be guaranteed,” he said.

@EduMinKenya⁩ Statement on the Interim Report of the #covid_19Ke National Education Response Committee submitted today ⁦@KICDKenya⁩ ⁦@ExamsCouncil⁩ ⁦@TSC_KEpic.twitter.com/r4xKlSeMw3

— EduMinKenya (@EduMinKenya) May 29, 2020

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