The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) CEO and Secretary Dr. Nancy Macharia says the commission will conform with the directives of the Ministry of Education on the reopening of schools.
Dr. Macharia who spoke Tuesday during a meeting of stakeholders at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) said that already the schools are understaffed and the situation has been further compounded by the requirement that people of over 58 years and those with underlying issues have to work from home.
She noted that teaching being labour intensive in which teachers have to be in class and teach, reopening schools earlier could pose a challenge to the profession.
Dr. Macharia noted that the safety of both learners and teachers is critical and has to be assured of their safety.
She said TSC will now rely on the guidance of the Ministry of Health on the way forward on how to ensure that teachers and learners are safe.
On Monday President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Education to jointly, with all the stakeholders in the sector, notify the public on the resumption of learning for Basic Education and Tertiary Institutions by today (Tuesday).
Addressing the press earlier, Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha said all basic learning institutions in the country will reopen in January 2021 adding that there will be no national examinations this year as the 2020 academic year is lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that this year’s candidates will sit for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams later in the year 2021.
He said the decision to reopen schools in January next year remains tentative and may change depending on the prevailing situation of the pandemic.
Prof. Magoha said the decision to shelve earlier plans to reopen schools in September is supported by all stakeholders, saying that over 90 percent of parents have expressed strong reservations to send their children to schools as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
The CS said the directive applies to all children, including those in the private and international schools. He said his ministry will enhance online learning to engage learners during this period.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kenya is on a steady rise, hitting 8,067 on Monday. The highest daily number of cases was reported on July 4th 2020 at 389.