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Outgoing KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion/CFM-FILE

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KNUT urges school reopening under stringent COVID-19 protocols

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has appealed to the national government to adopt coronavirus-prevention guidelines in schools to facilitate reopening of learning institutions.

In a statement to newsrooms, the union’s Secretary General Wilson Sossion proposed the creation of a technical team  to oversee day to day operations in schools including adherence to social distancing.

The proposed technical team will constitute members drawn from Boards of Management, Parents Association, KNUT, Headteachers Association and Religious Organisations.

“The quality assurance and standards officers, BOM members, Public health officials, KNUT, Kenya Secondary School Heads Associations (KESSHA), Kenya Primary School Headteachers Association (KEPSHA) and religious organizations to jointly inspect school facilities with a view of establishing its status and compliance,” KNUT proposed.

“The school boards supported by the technical teams should be prepared to address logistical nightmares when schools reopen,” Sossion stated.

In a raft of proposals, the union proposed the reconfiguration of all classrooms to facilitate social distancing and reduce physical contact. KNUT also proposed a ban on field trips, school assemblies, physical education and choir classes.

“Teachers and the school management should known in advance that the intervening period will be stressful, and some children will be much more sensitive that others to change, but with time they will adjust,” Sossion said.

In the  letter addressed to Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, Sossion  said all schools  previously converted to quarantine centers should be vacated and fumigated before school re-open.

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“There should be screening  of pupils, teachers and non teaching staff every morning and evening to guard against occurrence of the virus,” the union noted.

The teachers union also wants the school feeding programme to be activated to ease financial and logistical pressure on parents and guardians

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