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Team invites public views on review of school dates

By Irene Githinji
Friday, May 15th, 2020
National Covid-19 Education Response Committee chair Sarah Ruto. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary
    • The National Covid-19 Education Response Committee chaired by Sarah Ruto has been mandated to advise on reopening of basic education institutions.
    • It will explore and advise the CS on the health and safety measures to be put in place for the students, teachers and the entire school community.
    • The team will identify institutions that may have been adversely affected by Covid-19 and advise on mitigation and recovery measures.

Irene Githinji @gitshee

The National Covid-19 Education Response Committee chairperson Sarah Ruto has invited all stakeholders and the public to submit their views on the best possible practices in returning the education sector to normalcy.

She urged stakeholders to submit written memoranda to the committee’s secretariat on or before May 22.

“The Committee now invites all stakeholders and the public to submit their views on the best possible national response in line with the committee’s terms of reference for the basic education sub-sector,” Ruto said in a statement.

This came as the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) claimed they had deliberately been excluded from the committee.

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion accused Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha of unfairly sidelining Knut from the committee.

“We hereby remind Magoha that Knut and other recognised educators’ unions in the sector must be incorporated in various taskforces, commissions and working parties as legitimate representatives of educators,” he said.

 Right not favour

Uasu secretary general Constantine Opiyo said they are principal players in the  higher education sector and should be included in the committee.

Sossion said Magoha’s “malicious and dictatorial behaviour” did not augur well for the education sector during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

He said Knut’s inclusion in committees and other task forces was a constitutional right and not a favour.

On Wednesday, Magoha appointed a 10-member team to explore the best strategies of restoring normalcy in the sector.

“Aware that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic have hurt the basic education sector the most — threatening to wipe out the gains made to stabilise the academic calendar — the ministry has appointed a 10-member committee to take charge of the process of exploring the best possible strategies of restoring normality in the sub-sector,” said Magoha.

The committee has been mandated to, among other things, advise on reopening of basic education institutions, comprising pre-primary, primary, secondary schools, teacher training colleges and adult education institutions.

It is expected to review and re-organise the school calendar as part of the Covid-19 post-recovery strategy.

It is also mandated to explore and advise the CS on the health and safety measures to be put in place for the students, teachers and the entire school community.

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