Teachers in front of line to get corona jab


Grade 3 Kiswahili teacher instructs learners at Sparki Primary School in Mombasa. Most of the Schools in Mombasa County have poor turn out. [File, Omondi Onyango, Standard]


Teachers will be among the first people to receive the Covid-19 vaccine even as their employer assured that no one will lose their job for opting to work from home.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said other professionals who will be given priority are health workers and police officers, as well as older citizens aged 58 and above.

“When the vaccine arrives, which is projected to be around end of February, teachers will be among the first beneficiaries because they are now frontline workers,” said Dr Mwangangi.

Last Friday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said they had developed immunisation protocols to guide how the jabs will be given even as the country assesses its range of vaccine options.

“We have a system to indicate who will be first to get the vaccines,” Kagwe said, adding that the jab will not be compulsory.

Separately, Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia has dismissed fears that staff who work from home will be fired.

“If you are not able to go to school, no one will sack you. Even before Covid-19, teachers fell sick and nobody would wish to make matters worse for teachers,” said Ms Macharia.

The CEO said teachers who wish to work from home will have other roles to play, including preparing lesson plans, schemes of work and marking.

“We have directed our county and regional directors to advise and guide the teachers whenever they come to their officers for direction,” she said, adding that their medical scheme has been enhanced to cover Covid-19.

Macharia also said the commission is working with the World Bank and other partners to train teachers on psycho-social support.

The assurance follows a State directive that tutors aged over 58 or those with pre-existing conditions should teach remotely, or in well-aerated classrooms.