Teachers news - Many Changes as students go back to school

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Schools reopen today, many with new managers following the mass transfers of head teachers as the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) demanded smooth handovers.

This means parents will find new faces to welcome their children as TSC instructed all heads to report to their new stations.

The transfers, which rolled out when schools closed, is the second phase of mass movement that affected more than 500 principals in national, extra-county and sub-county schools.

The commission's Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Macharia, yesterday warned that handing over must be done by the time students report.

“Heads of institutions report promptly to their respective schools and teachers report for duty promptly and to commence active teaching immediately to the benefit of the learners,” said Ms Macharia.

Medical cover

But there is good news for parents as students will start to enjoy the Sh4 billion medical cover launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month.

Each of the three million secondary school students will from today have a chance to access free medical insurance.

The students in the 9,000 secondary schools will have a National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) card, signalling a major reprieve for parents as the Government implements the comprehensive medical scheme.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said in cases where the cards are delayed, students will use details in the National Education Management Information System (Nemis) to access healthcare.

The Ministry of Education has already instructed heads to select convenient facilities from the approved NHIF list of hospitals.

But even as teachers prepare to receive the students, Mr Kipsang warned heads against charging parents additional levies as schools re-open.


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Fulfilling obligation

He said the Government was fulfilling its obligation of Free Primary Education and Free Day Secondary learning by disbursing funds to schools.

“We have advised our county directors that they will take responsibility for any additional levies charged in schools around their regions,” said Kipsang.

Meanwhile, anxiety was building among parents and students over the heavy rains around the country, with cases of flooding reported.

Some roads have been washed away, raising questions over smooth transportation of learners to schools.

The Ministry of Transport's State Department of Infrastructure announced yesterday that it had requested the National Treasury for an immediate allocation of Sh2 billion to respond to road repair emergencies during the rains.

“The country is experiencing heavy rains that appear above normal, meaning we will need to be more proactive to ensure normal flow of traffic on our roads,” said Infrastructure Principal Secretary Julius Korir.

The requisition is part of the Sh17.5 billion emergency funds to fix roads that have been destroyed by the ongoing rains.

Mr Korir cited Kainuk and Kawalase bridges, the Athi River-Machakos stretch and Maai Mahiu-Suswa as some of the high-risk bridges.

Various contractors

He said various contractors in areas where there were planned annual maintenance works had been advised to assist the public in crossing flooded sections and provide the public with information on safe sections of the roads.

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Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed assured parents of the their children's safety.

Amina said all county commissioners, regional directors of education, county directors and school heads had been advised to be vigilant as students reported back to school.

She said the officials had also been asked to advise in cases where re-opening should be delayed due to bad weather.

The concerns come as the Meteorological Department said the rains were likely to spread this week.

Parents also expressed fears about chaotic transport systems.

Kenya National Association of Parents chairman Nicholas Maiyo asked the Ministry of Transport to co-ordinate with the Ministry of Interior to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

“We also urge that fares are lowered to enable children to go to school first,” he said.

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