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No absconding of duty, teachers told

By Irene Githinji
Monday, September 28th, 2020
Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Nancy Macharia. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA
In summary

Teachers who fail to report to work today as per the government’s directive will face disciplinary action, it has now emerged.

At a meeting with school principals last week, Sub-County Directors of Education (SDEs) warned teachers of dire consequences should they fail to resume duty today.

The SDEs told the teachers it will amount to absconding duty, which is punishable, if they do report to schools today.

Teachers had until today to report to their duty stations without fail to start with the preparation to reopen schools.

“Teachers will not be allowed to ask for a day off, they must all report today and on subsequent days for the tasks directed by the Ministry of Education to run smoothly,” read a memo to principals.

Supervise preparations

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Secretary Dr Nancy Macharia asked Regional Directors, TSC County and Sub County Directors to coordinate, monitor and supervise preparation of schools exercise to ensure teachers prepare adequately for resumption of learning.

In a circular, Macharia said all teachers must take part in making adequate arrangements for reopening, which will include working with relevant stakeholders to ensure thorough cleaning of classrooms, offices, dorms and all school amenities and ensure that the same are in habitable conditions for learners.

“All teachers are directed to take part in development of innovative strategies designed to offer psychological support to learners, parents and stakeholders,” Macharia directed.

Today’s conference and subsequent address will shed more light on reopening of school and the calender. President Uhuru Kenyatta will today lead a national Covid-19 conference, tipped to be a turning point in Kenya’s fight against the novel coronavirus disease.

“The conference is expected to chart a responsible path forward for Kenya as our nation establishes the new normal of adaptation to living with Covid-19 and outline a strategy for building and sustaining momentum with regard to recovery and resilience in a manner ensures Kenya bounces back better and stronger,” said Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, last week.

Kinyua said that the national conference will be followed by the 12th Presidential address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic.

“The address by the Head of State will unveil the containment measures that will guide Kenya into the new normal,” added Kinyua.

The address is expected to, among other issues, give a comprehensive guide for the academic calendar, which was suspended in March.

As teachers resume, they are expected to prepare curriculum delivery materials including timetables, schemes of work, lesson plans and related activities for curriculum implementation and delivery.

They are to develop innovative strategies and mechanisms for curriculum implementation while upholding the Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols for containment of the spread of Covid-19 including social distancing, regular hand washing, use of sanitisers and wearing face masks.

“There should be proper sharing of duties and responsibilities among all teachers while making deliberate efforts to protect staff with underlying conditions,” Macharia added.

There is still divided opinion as to whether schools should resume next month or wait until next year, with Kenya Medical Association (KMA) saying that reopening must be systematic, given the Covid-19 circumstances.

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