Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang has said that tutors aged 58 and above are now free to resume teaching. He has, however, urged them to strictly observe the Covid-19 protocols.

The PS said: “In some regions, the elderly teachers have of their own volition reported back to their stations and are performing their duties along with their younger colleagues.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta last year directed state employees aged 58 and above to be excluded from reporting to their work stations due to their vulnerability to the virus.

PS Kipsang was speaking during a tour of Bomet County to check on the delivery of desks and lockers.

The contract was given to local artisans by the government under the economic stimulus programme.

He also disclosed that the government had paid Ksh700 million to the suppliers. Another Ksh600 million will be processed after an audit and verification of the documents.

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Speaking at Mogogosiek trading centre in Konoin constituency, Kipsang said: “Apart from far-flung counties where the availability of materials for the jua kali artisans has been a challenge, we expect the supply of desks and lockers to have been completed by the weekend.”

The artisans were contracted to supply 622,357 lockers and 5,136 desks to public primary schools and 5,254 secondary schools for Ksh1.9 billion.

Some 94 percent of primary schoolchildren have already reported to school and 95 percent have resumed learning in secondary schools.

Accompanied by County Commissioner Susan Waweru, County Director of Education Mabale Indiatsi, and County Director of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Charles Nyauma, Dr Kipsang said: “Administrators have been directed to mop up learners who have not reported to school and ensure that they resume learning.”

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Many of the learners who haven’t reported back are girls who have been made teen mothers, those expecting and those suspected to have been married off.

The government has directed that all pregnant girls be re-admitted to continue learning regardless of their state.

Over concerns by stakeholders that schools might become super incubators and spreading centres for Covid-19, PS Kipsang assured all that the government was already looking into it.

He said: “The government has continuously improved and expanded facilities to ensure a 100 per cent transition rate from primary to secondary school and the programme will continue. There should be no fear among parents on the state of the infrastructure in schools.”

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Teachers have been forced to teach under trees to comply with the social distancing rule.

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