Headteachers are rooting for the government to use the teachers for civic education and schools as isolation centres to contain Covid-19. 

With all schools vacated, the heads have proposed that the institutions could provide ample space for isolation. 

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Indimuli Kahi says this is part of the education sector’s proposal to contain the virus. 

“Teaching is a calling and this moment the calling is to save lives… we propose that teachers take their role as educators, teach people the do’s and don’ts,” he said. 

Kahi proposed door-to-door campaigns to be coordinated by administrative officers – chiefs and sub-chiefs. The headteachers also asked for protective gear for their colleagues who will take part in the exercise.

“As it is at the moment most people are still ignorant and naive as far as the virus is concerned,” Kahi said, “It is important that we educate our communities so that they can effectively take part in containing the virus.” 

Kahi argues that schools and teachers play a vital role in sharing accurate information and facts as per the code of conduct. 

Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association chairman Nicholas Gathemia says schools have an important role in slowing the spread of diseases.

Gathemia said working together with local health departments,  teachers and schools could immensely contribute to slowing the spread of Covid-19.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers secretary general Akello Misori has, however, challenged the idea saying it could be very costly to train and equip teachers.

Misori says teachers lack professional medical basics adding that the virus should be left to professional medics.

“We can disseminate information but remember we are not trained to use those masks… the government should use this opportunity to absorb as many health workers as possible,” Misori said.

Instead, the government should organise teachers and involve them in the development of an online learning platform, he said.

Tech giant Google and telecom provider Telkom have agreed to support e-learning after the closure of schools.

The project will provide internet for learners to access assignments and soft copies of learning materials online.