Teachers are the most important people in the world. If it were not for teachers, many pilots, doctors, engineers, and other professionals would not have existed. Unfortunately, the pandemic could not spare even the schools and teachers. Since the closure of the schools, the lives of many teachers and staff working in the learning institutions have changed significantly. Kenya is an example of a country that its education system could not stand the unseen enemy.
The Education System in Kenya
Before the coronavirus struck Kenya, learning was going smoothly. The final year students were sure that coming next year, they would be on a different level. However, this changed after the health authorities confirmed a case in the country in March 2020. The government ordered the closure of all learning institutions, forcing the education sector to cancel its academic calendar.
The education minister also predicted that the coronavirus disease may not stop soon, therefore schools might resume 2021. This was going to completely turn the lives of schools and teachers. The education system has been hit so hard right in the face.
The Measures that the Education Ministry Took
After the health crisis, there was an issue of payment of school fees. Those parents who had earlier paid for fees complained about the situation. The education ministry said that if the parents had paid already, they would have to repay the fees come next year. For those who had not paid yet, the ministry told them not to pay the school fees for the first session.
Professor George Albert Magoha, the CS of Education, gave directives on education following the closure of schools. He said that pupils should embark on online studies to catch up with the syllabus. For those who did not have access to digital learning, the government promised to employ other effective means.
There was also a program of teachers in rural areas to enroll themselves and help the pupils to gain knowledge outside school. This is after there was an increase in pregnancy cases in rural areas, especially in Kakamega.
The State of Private and Public Teachers and Staff
Recently, the government planned to pay its teachers and staff after a long time. However, some teachers said they did not receive any payments while others complained that the amount was too small.
The teachers in private schools seem to be worse than the public teachers who received a little money. The pandemic hit the private institutions harder since they have not paid its staff due to the financial crisis.
The Views of Peter Ndoro
Peter is the Chief Executive Officer of the Private Schools Association in Kenya. He says more than 300,000 staff in private schools have not received their salaries from the schools.
“Private schools are unable to pay and sustain the employees on their payroll. So very many private schools since April have not been able to pay their teachers, and their salaries. Therefore, they requested that the teachers should proceed on unpaid leave.”
Survival Mode for the Teachers and Staff
The pandemic has forced the teachers to take other options to survive and provide for their families. There are predictions some would not return to their schools and hence they have decided to pursue other things to earn a living.
According to the health ministry records, there are over 35,000 cases of the virus. Moreover, there are over 600 fatalities and over 22000 recoveries.