Written by Shillah Mwadosho
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Two teachers’ unions have called on the government to allocate money for construction of makeshift structures and provision of lunch programmes in schools affected by floods.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education (KUPPET) and Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) said that the government through the ministry of special programmes should step in so that learning is not compromised.
KUPPET national vice chairman Julius Korir and KNUT national trustee Boniface Tenai jointly said that there was a need for the issue to be addressed so that this year’s candidates in both primary and secondary schools are not affected.
The two officials who were speaking to West Fm in Kapsabet said that floods should not be an excuse for learning to be suspended since the national examinations that primary and secondary candidates will be sitting for do not “sympathize” with flood victims.
They said that they would write to the ministries of special programmes and education to recommend on construction of makeshift structures at convenient places that will act as classrooms as schools wait for floods to subside.
Korir said that the alternative solution will be realized if proper consultation with stakeholders of the affected schools is made.
He said, “Stakeholders in affected places should be contacted because they know of possible alternative measures to be executed. We should not promote procrastination of learning in schools."
Tenai said that the two unions have also recommended the introduction of lunch programmes to ensure that pupils and students remain within makeshift classrooms for the whole day.
He said, “Sending children back for lunch may not be possible due to rains.
Some may end up being swept away or may not report back for afternoon lessons due to rains.”
Tenai who was speaking in the company of Korir added that the two unions would ensure that their recommendations bear fruits.
“This is not a political matter but basically a matter of education. We do not want our children to fail to progress to the next level of academic ladder because they could not be taught during floods,” he said.
The two unions spoke following reported cases of learning being interrupted in schools due to heavy rains that have wreaked havoc in the country.
Korir cited an incident where floods isolated schools and villages in southeastern Kenya early this month after Sabaki River broke its banks and changed course.
“I was shocked when I read in the newspaper that about 2,000 students were cut off from their schools due to floods in Malindi,” Korir said.
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