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Unionist demands inclusion in Covid -19 Education Response Committee

A  teachers’ union has accused the Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), Prof. George Magoha of overlooking them while forming the nine-member Covid-19 Education response committee to advice on a back-to-school strategy.

The Kenya Union of Special Need Education Teachers (KUSNET) Secretary General, James Torome said the unions that represent teachers play a crucial role in education matters, saying teachers are key when it comes to school matters.

Torome  who addressed journalists in his Narok office on Monday wondered why the clergy and parents were featuring in the committee, leaving out a good representation from unions representing teachers.

“The organizations picked on the response committee are people who do not deal with the students directly, religious leaders and parents are never in class to teach the pupils,” said Torome.

He observed that the teachers spend quality time with pupils in school and they will be in frontline while dealing with a possible Covid-19 case in schools, hence should be the most prominent in the committee.

“Prof. Magoha should dissolve the formed committee early enough to include the unions, who will give proper advice as they are more informed on the welfare of the learners,” added Torome.

This comes after another giant teachers’ union complained of being left out in the nine-member committee formed by the Ministry of Education.

The  Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General, Wilson Sossion said representatives from the union must sit in the task force, otherwise the country will be joining in the global community of teachers in rejecting any hurried reopening of schools.

But in a rejoinder, the CS defended his decision to exclude teachers unions, saying it is not a must that everyone should be included in the committee.

“If you want to ask if the union is represented then the answer is yes, we have coopted one unionist who should coordinate all the others,” Magoha had said.

The government closed schools among other sectors when the first Covid-19 case was reported in the country.

By  Ann  Salaton

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