Resolve challenges that may hamper learning
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) must move with speed to resolve teacher shortage in northern Kenya.
Kenyan schools reopen Wednesday morning against the backdrop of mixed challenges that will require articulate planning to limit their impact on learning programmes. For most of last term, learning was affected by an array of issues, including delays in release and distribution of books for the new curriculum as well as delayed disbursement of Free Primary Education and Free Secondary Education funds.Many schools in the North Eastern region were also hit by mass exodus of teachers over rising insecurity in the area. Some of these issues, especially the delayed distribution of books and teacher shortages in the northern frontier, have yet to be fully addressed and are likely to persist in the new term.
This demands that the Education ministry must adopt a proactive approach to tackling the challenges in order to spare learners further anguish. The second term is a crucial preparatory phase for students, especially those scheduled to sit national examinations at the end of the year, who must be accorded a conducive learning environment.The authorities must carry out an urgent audit of book stocks in all schools to ensure learners have materials to use when learning resumes this term. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) must move with speed to resolve teacher shortage in northern Kenya so that students there are not put at a disadvantage. Restaffing schools in the region will require active participation of the Interior ministry to ensure schools are safe from the threats of militant groups such as the Al-Shabaab.Naturally no teacher would be willing to serve in an insecure environment, meaning the government must find a lasting solution to the frequent invasions. The ongoing heavy rains also pose new challenges having caused heavy flooding in many regions, rendering many schools inhabitable or inaccessible. The affected schools need contingency planning to limit interruption of learning, especially if the situation drags on for too long. Temporary learning centres and medical camps should be considered for schools affected by lengthy episodes of flooding.