TSC postpones TPAD trainings following death of teachers to Covid-19

The Teacchers Service Commission (TSC) has postponed TPAD training for its teachers following surge in Covid-19 in schools.

The trainings which were to kick off this week in most counties and next week for some and were scheduled to take at least two days have been rescheduled to unspecified date in most counties.

The training required the headteacher together with his school ICT teacher to attend.

TSC had ordered Curriculum Support Officers (CSOs) to identify appropriate venues for training the teachers in their zones.

TSC launched an enhanced TPAD late in 2019 to replace the old one following the introduction of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) as well as the Teacher Professional Developments (TPDs).

TSC postpones TPAD trainings following death of teachers to Covid-19

Through internal memos seen by Teachers Arena the Commission through its County agents has directed Principals, Headteachers and Teachers not to attend the trainings which have been put off.

“Following the upsurge of the Covid-19 disease in the county with reported cases amongst our teachers in the county, the Commission has with immediate effect stopped all scheduled TPAD trainings for Principals, Headteachers and Teachers,” read a memo by TSC County Director in Laikipia.

Data shows at least thirty teachers and thirteen Principals have died from Covid-19.

The latest death being that of Principal Martha Ouma of Oyugi Ogango Girls Secondary school who passed on Tuesday morning.

The late Martha Ouma died while undergoing treatment at a Kisumu hospital.

She is suspected to have succumbed to the coronavirus.

However Regional Education officials have denied reports that the Principal succumbed to the virus.

Yesterday, Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said all teachers with pre-existing conditions should work from home.

Dr. Nancy said this after announcing on Monday that teachers aged 58 years and above should work from home and that they will not be victimized.

However she said the teachers will be used to perform other non teaching duties while at home.

“They can be utilised in offering critical duties such as preparing schemes of work, teaching aids and marking, among others. We assure them of the safety of their jobs,” said Dr Macharia.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) data shows that there are at least 50,000 teachers aged 55 years or above.

“Some of these teachers already have underlying conditions and the employer must conduct a serious audit to ascertain the exact number and how they can be helped,” said Wilson Sossion, the Knut secretary general.

Mr Sossion added that younger teachers with preexisting conditions and at higher risk of contracting Covid-19 should also be asked to work from home.

“These teachers are now in the frontline and must be protected fully by the employer,” he said.

Yesterday, Macharia assured teachers that their medical needs would be taken care of.

“The commission has negotiated with the teachers’ medical provider, for teachers to be covered for all Covid-19 related illnesses,” said Macharia.

Minet Kenya, the administrator of the TSC medical scheme, said it was committed to covering teachers and their dependants even as virus cases spike.

“The main insurance practice in our market, however, is to have sub-limits for preexisting chronic conditions. The teachers’ scheme does not have such sub-limits,” Minet CEO Sammy Muthui said.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) national chair Kahi Indimuli welcomed the news but said the decision must be communicated to all medical facilities.

“We hope that they have communicated that to the health facilities so that teachers do not get turned away,” he said.

A Covid-19 Incidence Reporting tool using USSD code *202*07# has been set up to assist teachers report to the scheme provider any suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases.

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