Third Eye

Schools re-open: Support teachers, learners in new term

Monday, July 26th, 2021 00:00 |
Pupils in class. Photo/Courtesy

Schools re-open today, which marks the beginning of the 2021 school calendar. It is a period that comes with a set of challenges. 

Teachers and learners will have to adjust to the fact that a new school year is starting in the middle of the year.

They will be expected to contend with not only new but also strained timelines required to cover as much as a normal school year.

Schools are also resuming after only a week of rest, which means that they have had very minimal rest compared to the norm, where school holidays go for about a month.

Being an academic year with a difference, we believe that both learners and teachers will require encouragement and immense support to make it through the strained time-lines. 

On a normal term, school half term breaks go for a week but this time round, they will only rest for three days.

It is also a rush for parents who will be required to pay school fees in shorter intervals than usual, since the second term begins in early October.

A review of the 2021 calendar year came about owing to the nine-month disruption of learning owing to Covid-19 pandemic.

The government had to work out a new schedule, in a bid to cover for the lost time.

Even as schools resume, it’s also important for the government to see to it that all directives it has issued are strictly observed.

For instance, the Ministry of Education said last week school fees for secondary schools has been reduced - Sh8,500 for national schools and Sh5,500 for the rest.

Another directive the ministry has issued is on sending children home over school fees, saying that the assumption should not be that all the children come from a family that has money.

The ministry has also stated that at least 75 per cent of high schools are day, which means they are free and in the case of boarding, no one should extort money from parents in the name of a feeding programme.

Similarly, ahead of the start of the new school year, Teachers Service Commission will today release findings of a survey on preparedness of teachers to navigate the Covid-19 environment under the full resumption environment.

We are optimistic that findings of the survey, which seeks to help the Government work with all teachers adequately, will also consider the wellbeing of tutors so that they can deliver effectively.

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