The government will give priority to teachers across the country when Covid-19 vaccination commences in Kenya, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation Lawrence Karanja has said.
Karanja added that the government had classified teachers as frontline workers the same way with health workers in view of the Covid-19 pandemic due to their daily interaction with many learners following the resumption of learning in the country.
Speaking in Laikipia on Tuesday when he toured several schools in the area to assess on the reopening, Karanja added that the government would take care of the medical expenses of any teacher who might get infected with Covid-19.
“The government has made it clear that in the event any teacher gets Covid-19 which requires medical attention which may lead to hospitalization, all the expenses will be taken care of by the state, Karanja said after touring Lairagwan primary school in Laikipia North constituency.
Health ministry recently announced that Kenya had ordered 24 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) that are expected in the country on February.
The CAS further said that senior government officers had been dispatched by President Uhuru Kenyatta across the country to access on the reopening of schools and also encourage teachers and learners that all would be well.
“There is a genuine fear that learners could easily transmit Covid-19 to teachers who are mostly aged or could be having preexisting medical conditions making them vulnerable whereas the children could be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, that is why we have classified them as frontline workers against the disease,” he said.
Karanja said that he was impressed by the preparedness of the schools he visited and also the information about Covid-19 being disseminated to learners mostly on how to protect themselves from getting infected.
Laikipia County Director of Education Susan Murerwa informed the CAS that 85 percent of leaners in the County had resumed classes while those who had failed to go back to school were either married, got pregnant or had given up schooling altogether.
“We are working closely with chiefs and other National Government Administrators to help identify those learners who are yet to return to school and find out the reason for their absence. We are encouraging those girls who might have gotten pregnant to resume learning after giving birth,” Ms. Murerwa said.
By Martin Munyi