37 teachers die of Covid-19 in one year
HEALTH & SCIENCEBy ROBERT ABONG'O | Mon,May 10 2021 14:54:35 EATBy ROBERT ABONG'O | Mon,May 10 2021 14:54:35 EAT
The coronavirus pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 37 teachers in Kenya.
Speaking at Mtihani House, Nairobi during the release of the 2020 KCSE results, Teachers Service Commission CEO Dr Nancy Macharia said 24 principals, three deputy principals and 10 classroom teachers died after contracting the virus.
“It is sad to note that so far we have lost 37 secondary school teachers, including 24 principals, three Deputy Principals and 10 classroom teachers,” said Dr Macharia.
Dr Macharia praised teachers’ efforts countrywide involved in administering and marking the exams.
Covid 19 Time Series
“We honour and celebrate our teachers for a job well done. Enjoy the accolades our teachers, because you certainly earned them,” she added.
Dr Macharia also empathised with seven teachers involved in a road accident near Webuye Sub-county on their way home after marking exams.
Vaccination of teachers
She said the TSC is impressed with the high rate of Covid-19 vaccine uptake among teachers. As of Sunday, May 9, 151,494 teachers had been vaccinated in Kenya. Of the total number of teachers, 49 per cent are female and 51 per cent are male.
“It is satisfying to note that majority of the teachers aged 58 and above have taken the jab. The impressive number has been achieved despite the fact that most teachers have been on the move, either during the exam administration or marking exercise,” she explained.
She asked all teachers to go for the vaccine now that exams are over and children are going back to school.
As part of supporting teachers, TSC says it has provided a full medical insurance cover for Covid-19 related ailments.
The commission has also created a medical insurance application (Walimu Care App) that allows all teachers to access Telemedicine from isolation centres or homes. “Because we avoid hospitals sometimes when we can, please use the app so that if your ailment is not so great, you can get in touch with our medical experts,” said Dr Macharia.
The app also gives Covid-19 health tips, tracks hospital visits and users can order drugs.
The TSC CEO also announced the Ministry of Health has accepted their request to open a Covid-19 vaccination centre at TSC headquarters. “We are doing everything to make sure our teachers get the jab as easily as possible and still go back to class in time,” said Dr Macharia.
Dr. Macharia also expressed disappointment in teachers involved in exam malpractice, questioning their ethics and professionalism. She said some teachers opened exam material as soon as they left the containers, took screen shots of questions and shared them on Whatsapp.
“In another case, a senior teachers’ cell phone containing screenshots of questions from a paper was recovered as it was being transported to a candidate sitting the exam in hospital,” revealed Dr Macharia.
The TSC was also notified of a registered teacher who posed as an examiner and accessed an examination centre. The teacher was found guilty. “We have put in place mechanisms to subject him to a disciplinary process with an intention of removing him from the register of teachers,” Dr Macharia said.
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