Chief Editor:

Prof. J. W. Khamasi, EBS, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology,

Assistant Editor:

Dr. H. Kiplagat, University of Eldoret

A new variant of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been reported in more than 20 countries (London Reuters, msn.com; retrieved on 29th December 2020).  That means, danger looms large globally.  The report comes when a number of countries in the global north are rolling out the much awaited COVID-19 vaccine. 

WHO’s report as at 10:55am CET, 29 December 2020 indicate that there were “79,931,215 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including1, 765,265 deaths” (WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard, retrieved on 29th December, 2020 at 8pm).  Six months ago (29th June, 2020 3:15pm CEST) WHO reported 10,021,401 confirmed cases including 499, 913 deaths (https://covid19.who.int/, retrieved June 29th 2020).  Evidently, cases of COVID-19 infections continue to increase as the new variant complicates the situation.  That also means plans of reopening schools in January 2021 might be thwarted. 

It is important to remember that in most countries both in the global South and North, schools closed in March 2020.  In May 2020, the World Health Organisation projected that coronavirus “might never go away” (CNN News, May 13th, 2020, 11pm).  To educators, that also meant classrooms will transform forever.  By June 2020, education institutions changed their academic calendars and so did the ways in which teaching and learning is conducted, was previously perceived and understood by both learners and teachers/lecturers.  With all these unforeseen changes, technology is the major beneficiary because many institutions started to manage their businesses through the digital platforms. 

The Journal of African Studies in Educational Management and Leadership (JASEML) Volume 13 presents five papers that address various aspects of education and emerging issues.  The topics include: implementation of safety standards and guidelines in schools, teachers’ competence in integrating emerging issues in the school curriculum; outsourcing of academic resource providers (commonly referred to as teaching staff ) by Kenyan public universities; involvement of persons with disabilities in public participation; and stakeholders’ involvement on financial outcomes in schools. 

As the world continues to experience uncertainty due to the effects of Coronal Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019), issues highlighted by these papers take a different dimension from what has been the practice.  For instance, outsourcing of teaching services may reduce significantly as a result of online teaching and learning, teachers’ competences have to include to a large extent aspects of digital technology, and people have to reskill irrespective of their abilities to be able to participate virtually/remotely on issues of importance to them.  The pandemic has also forced nations to rethink social engineering of the general public (learners and teachers included) as a response to issues of public health concern.   

The first paper explores how safety standards and guidelines have been applied in boarding schools to guarantee safety of physical infrastructure.  The paper established that though there was adequate infrastructure in many schools, there is room for continuous improvement.

Teacher competence plays a critical role in the achievement of quality education, that is, education that incorporates emerging issues in curriculum implementation. The paper investigated teachers’ competence in integrating emerging issues such as HIV/AIDs education, drug and substance abuse, disaster preparedness and peace education in the secondary schools curriculum in the North Rift region of Kenya.  The study established that majority of teachers had no ability to integrate emerging issues in the curriculum; and for that reason, there is need to revise the teacher education curriculum and for continuous professional development of teachers.

The third chapter is a report of a study that was conducted in public universities in Nyeri and Kiambu Counties in Kenya. The study investigated the outsourced academic resource provider’s quality of service on institutional management and established that all the universities involved outsourced academic resources. 

The fourth paper underscores the need for enhancing public participation of persons with disabilities because under the local and international laws, persons with disabilities have a right to be engaged at all levels of decision making. The author proposes that all government agencies should institutionalize public participation of persons with disabilities.

Lastly, the fifth chapter reports an evaluation on the impact of stakeholders’ involvement on financial outcomes in public primary schools in Homa-Bay Sub-County, Kenya. Despite availability of good policies and regulations on stakeholder involvement, the study found out that a number of schools disregarded them.  The authors recommend stakeholders sensitization and close monitoring of schools.   

 

 

Available online: December 2020
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