10 things teachers fear the most as schools open

Learning at Ndisi Primary School in Alego Usonga Constituency, Siaya County. [Kevine Omollo, Standard]

A new report on teachers' preparedness has revealed their top fears as schools opened today.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) report lists the anticipated new fourth wave of Covid-19 as their greatest challenge. 

According to the report, teachers may not be well prepared to tackle the challenges, citing inadequate funds, limited water and fear of the unknown. 

The teachers also cited syllabus coverage as their second top fear. 

The report says the congested school calendar may lead to hurried coverage of the syllabus in schools, and according to the teachers, this may affect quality teaching and learning.

“Because of available time, the quality learning is a headache to teachers,” said Reuben Nthamburi, TSC director of quality assurance. 

The third fear among teachers is congestion in schools due to the overstretched infrastructure. 

“Many children will all be coming in at the same time. And with few spaces available, teachers are worried,” said Dr Nthamburi. 

An increase in teachers’ workload is also another fear.

Teachers say more work will be on their hands and managing children and running schools will be immense for them as schools open.

Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) implementation was the fifth fear among teachers as they report to schools today. 

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) director Charles Ongondo said all books have been distributed to schools. 

But teachers said the implementation of the new curriculum in the other classes, including the pioneer class, will remain a headache. 

Other fears that teachers have are;

  • Fees payment by parents
  • Early pregnancies
  • Drug and substance abuse
  • Insecurity as children go to schools
  • Disasters
  • School dropouts 

Overall, the report says that the level of teacher preparedness is fairly adequate and needs strengthening. 

Way forward: 

  • Increase psychosocial support 
  • Increase access to water and soap, minimize the use of sanitisers 
  • Sustain positive messages to teachers 
  • Train teachers on the management of Covid-19 
  • Enhance contacts with health institutions and personnel for regular checkups 
  • Blended learning: Incorporate remote learning as alternative modes of curriculum delivery. No more stopping leaning in case of another surge.

158,720, teachers have received the first dose of the vaccine, with another 89,611 fully vaccinated.