Give priority to old teachers and those with underlying conditions, says Kepsha
By Augustine Oduor | March 6th 2021
Teachers have proposed a Covid-19 vaccination plan to be adopted by the Government when their turn comes for the injection.
This is after the Ministry of Health listed teachers among the frontline workers lined up for the Covid-19 vaccination.
Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) Chairman Johnson Nzioka proposed that old teachers and those with underlying conditions be given first priority.
“Kepsha has lost members to the coronavirus that has continued to ravage the education sector and the country at large with a massive and unprecedented impact on families,” said Nzioka.
He said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should provide a list of teachers who are in high-risk categories to get the jab first followed by head teachers.
Nzioka said the 30,000 managers should be next in line. He said the heads interact with teachers and outside stakeholders such as parents, suppliers and random members of the school community. “But this should only be adopted if they may not have enough vaccines for the 350,000 teachers. A phased approach would be effective with proper mapping out of high risk staff,” he said.
He said head teachers, who will also be centre managers during the administration of the forthcoming Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, should be vaccinated ahead of time.
“The congestion that occurs at the containers during collection and drop-off of examination materials poses a high infection risk for teachers and the vaccine will help build teachers’ confidence,” said Nzioka.
He said during administration of the examinations, head teachers will also interact with drivers, security officers and colleagues from various schools.
“This alone puts us in the frontline and we appeal that the vaccination is taken seriously before the start of the national examinations,” said Nzioka.
Some 1,088,986 candidates will sit KCPE, while another 699,745 will sit KCPE exams.
The exams were moved from the traditional October/November period to March/April after lengthy school closures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
The revised timetables show KCPE will start on March 22, just two days after the end of the third term. The three-day exam will end on March 24, one day before the start of KCSE exam. The Form Four national exam will last three weeks and three days.
Nzioka also pleaded with primary school heads to take seriously the administration of the school-based assessment for Grade 4 scheduled for next week.
The Grade Four assessment will take place from March 8 to 18. Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha advised teachers not to put undue pressure on learners when administering the tests.
Prof Magoha said the tests are not examinations and also advised parents not to panic.
“No one should be putting pressure on children about the assessments because they are not examinations. Even parents must stop putting pressure on the learners,” he said.
Nzioka said teachers will use available materials to administer the assessments and advised against disrupting school programmes during the exercise.
This is in line with TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia’s advice.
“I urge all field officers to support schools and ensure that class teachers access the Knec assessment tools and administer them to their learners as seamlessly as they can,” said Dr Macharia.
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