The Kenya Women Teachers Association (Kewota) wants the government to establish breastfeeding centres in schools so as to ensure lactating teachers are always close to their babies as they grow.
The association says a law was passed in 2016 compelling the government to build the facilities in all public institutions but public schools are still not compliant.
Kewota CEO Benta Opande observed that female teachers, especially those with young children, are forced to go home often during school days to breastfeed, thus spending a lot of time and money.
“We want to support the young female teachers who have young ones and feel the need to go home and breastfeed them. When the child is near the teacher, the teacher is more productive and quality education is enhanced,” Ms Opande said.
She spoke at St Mark’s Teachers Training College in Kigari, Embu County during the closing ceremony for this year’s inter-collegiate athletics championships.
At the same time, the Kewota official proposed that the Ministry of Education starts a sporting event for teachers from the grassroots to the national level in order to boost cohesion and their mental health.
“We read in the news even about teachers committing suicide. We want the ministry to get involved and address the issue of mental health because it is real and it cannot be ignored,” said Ms Opande.
The director-general of the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education Elyas Abdi expressed concern over increased cases of teachers who are molesting learners and called on the tutors to uphold integrity.
“When parents and the society trust you with their children, respect that trust as expected. We are getting reports that there are teachers out there who mishandle young students and it is unacceptable in our society,” he said.