Teachers unions have rejected the TSC orders for staying in school to prepare timetables, schemes of work and lesson plans. In a notice to heads, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) told tutors to prepare timetables and schemes of work.
But teachers say they cannot make the documents without a school calendar. The teachers say lesson plans and schemes of work are guided by timelines. Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion said the government should decide when schools are reopening to enable tutors prepare the documents.
“Teachers go to school to work. With no learners around, they are only there to prepare for safe reopening” Mr Sossion said.
Heads were asked to work on the Teacher Professional Appraisal and Development and update the Teacher Management information system. The commission also told them to put in place psycho-social support systems and strengthen guidance and counselling in schools.
Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (Kepsha) chairman Nicholas Gathemia said teachers are waiting for directions from the Ministry of Education on the school calendar before preparing lessons plans and schemes of work.
Mr Gathemia said with the Covid-19 pandemic, teachers will be expected to draw crashed lesson plans though they need to be given clear directions. He also asked the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to give clear guidelines on the content teachers need to start preparing for before schools reopen.
“KICD should by now have directed teachers what content we need to incorporate in classwork,” he said.
Mr Gathemia added that with the Covid-19 health protocols in place, teachers will draw lesson plans depending on the number of learners in a class. “We need to know the duration of the lesson and how many lessons per day and per week. Teachers cannot plan without these guidelines,”The Kepsha chairman said told the Sunday Nation.
Mr Gathemia said teachers were taken through the health guidelines and what they are expected to do by the TSC when they reported to school on Monday.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli said the work of teachers is tied to their engagement with students.
“A majority of teachers had made schemes of work for the whole academic year and will only need some adjustments when the opening dates are announced,” he said. “Lesson plans however cannot be made without a schedule.” Mr Indimuli said principals were taken through the coronavirus health guidelines and that they have been supervising subordinate workers to clean school compounds.
The school heads urged the government to release money meant for schools. According to Mr Gathemia, most public primary schools are in the same state since they have not received funding from the government. Cooks, guards, librarians, secretaries, matrons, cleaners and other school employees rarely report to work as they have not been paid for months.
“Teachers employed by boards of management in primary schools have been forgotten by the ministry yet they comprise a very significant crop of employees that helps fill the gap of tutor shortages,” Mr Gathemia said.
Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Akelo Misori said the tutors reporting to school daily as ordered by the TSC are playing a significant role “and not lazing around”. “Kuppet is encouraged to see teachers helping prepare schools for reopening. We call on the Ministry of Education to send money to schools by next week,” Mr Misori told the Sunday Nation.
Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang on Thursday said the ministry has released the Sh13 billion to secondary schools. He, however, did not say when money for primary school would be released. Mr Indimuli said principals hope the money will reflect in accounts by next week.
“We have not received the money,” he said. When he appeared before a Parliamentary committee days ago, Prof Magoha said the academic calendar would be announced soon.