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Kenyan teachers ‘forced’ back into schools despite COVID-19 restrictions

In Kenya, The Teachers Service Commission (TSC), on Monday ordered both primary and secondary school teachers to report back to learning institutions by September 28th ahead of the eventual reopening of schools.

On Tuesday, Wison Sossion, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary general, said teachers are prepared to recover the time lost following the coronavirus pandemic-triggered closure of schools in mid-March.

“I’m urging teachers to give what they have never given before because we are in a period we have never been before,” Sossion said.

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He made the statement at KNUT headquarters during the launch of a gender-based violence sensitisation programme.

The union said the move to review the school calendar has been informed by a decline in the number of coronavirus infections.

Among those who will be expected back to class will be teachers. This includes those above 58 years and those with underlying medical conditions.

Previously, TSC had suggested that these teachers should remain at home upon reopening.”The curve is flattening and schools will not only be putting measures in place to ensure children safety but also that of teachers,” he said.

Sossion has asked teachers to strictly follow health guidelines as dictated by the Ministry of Health.

Primary and secondary school teachers will be the first to report back to school on or before Monday as directed by the Teachers Service Commission, their employer.

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Over 380,000 teachers will resume work even as learners remain uncertain on when teaching will start.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Monday gave the green light to final-year science students in universities to report back.

The decisions are a response to pressure from some stakeholders to resume in-person learning.