Parents, teachers to pay for Covid-19 costs ahead of reopening

Parents, teachers to pay for Covid-19 costs ahead of reopening

Parents and teachers will be required to raise money for schools resources ahead of reopening.

It is now emerging that the government may not have adequate funds to implement the Covid-19 protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks, hand washing and sanitising.

The responsibility of buying masks has been left to parents after the government indicated that it may require Sh1 billion to provide two pieces of the same per child.

Some Sh1.9 billion has also been allocated towards purchase of 622,257 desks for public primary and secondary schools.

However, these will only cover 5,254 secondary and 5,136 primary schools. The primary schools will each receive 70 desks while secondary schools will get 50 lockers and chairs.

Most schools may not benefit from the initiative and this will call for proper resource mobilisation within the institutions community to plug the gaps.

A new tool to train the school community on how to raise money to plug the huge deficit reveals that parents and teachers may shoulder the burden.

“In an effort to adhere to the Ministry of Health guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, including social distancing, wearing of masks, hand washing, sanitising, among others, the current institutional resources will be overstretched,” reads the Ministry of Education training manual.

Resources in institutions include physical facilities and infrastructure, equipment and human resource, says the document titled ‘a training module for education management bodies on their role amid Covid-19′.

Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang and Director General Elyas Abdi signed the document.

The tool details guidelines and training modules to support institution management and communities to prepare for readmission of learners and trainees, support of alternative learning platforms and also ensure safe environment for effective curriculum delivery.

Schools management boards, County Education Boards, sub-counties Covid-19 response teams and Parents Associations will be trained on how to mobilise resources.

During training sessions, teachers, parents and management teams will be required to identify resources required in institutions during Covid-19 period.

They will also be required to state resources mobilisation strategies and demonstrate understanding of the same.

“Participants may have to come up with additional finances, staff (teaching and non-teaching staff), learning rooms, ICT infrastructure, sustainable supply of running water and sanitisers and sanitising facilities,” reads the document.

Parents, teachers and management boards will also be required to identify potential donors, possible partnerships, volunteers and how to leverage on available resources.

“The training module is developed with full cognizance of the fact that strong involvement and collaboration with all stakeholders will go a long way to realise the effective reopening of the learning institutions and proper management of Covid-19 for successful implementation of the curriculum,” said Kipsang.

The PS said the thrust of the training sessions will be on promoting and safeguarding every child’s right to education, health and safety as set out in Article 53 (2) of the Constitution and in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It is expected that by the end of the training, all institutional mangers will gain knowledge on how to effectively play their role in providing strategic direction, establishing and maintaining policies as well as providing resources so as to prevent and respond to Covid-19.

The trainings will include lectures, discussion (observing social distances), demonstration, question and answer, think, pair and share and brainstorming and case scenarios.

Kipsang said re-opening of institutions within the context of Covid-19 requires adequate preparations by the education sector, line ministries and county governments, in close collaboration with Ministry of Health.

Parents, teachers, the community and donors’ help is needed to ensure schools have clean running water and hand washing points, adequate classrooms are constructed and sanitisers made available.

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