Let reason, openness guide education talks

Monday, September 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Education CS George Magoha. Photo/PD/GERAD ITHANA

A stakeholder brainstorming session organised by the Ministry of Education today must find a path through which all concerned parties push for the all-important objective of getting learners back in class. 

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has convened the meeting at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

The meeting is expected to clear the air on the confusion that has dogged the sector since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic way back in March, especially on the subject of resumption of learning.

Other than the Ministry of Education officials, other key participants include the Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (Kepsha), the equivalent body representing secondary schools, the Education Task Force Response Committee on Covid-19, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers, Kenya Parents Association, Universities Academic Staff Union, the Kenya Private Schools Association, Kenya Special Needs Heads Association and the Teachers Service Commission.

Today’s meeting is crucial as it aims to review progress so far made ahead of the expected reopening of schools by considering the different numerous opinions that have been floated to jumpstart the critical sector.

Understandably, top ministry officials have found the going tough because of the unpredictable nature of the disease, and especially since their decisions are dependent on the situation of the pandemic and protocols by the Health ministry.

Indeed Prof Magoha has repeatedly said schools will only reopen when the coronavirus curve flattens.

Today’s meeting, therefore, offers Magoha and his team a perfect opportunity to put an end to the mixed signals coming from Jogoo House over the matter. The back-and-forth approach has left learners and parents confused.

It is against this background that we are imploring all those invited to approach today’s talks with an open mind and with a spirit of give-and-take. We are calling for a sober, reflective and broad discussion.

They must put interests of the learners and country first and not those of their own and the entities they represent.

They must bear in mind that whatever will be deliberated at KICD has massive ramifications on the education and health of the foremost stakeholders in this issue, the learners. Equally, it has enormous implications on parents and the economy of the country as a whole.

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