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 Vier bis 6 Lehrer sterben täglich an HIV 03.04.2004 (14:26 Uhr) CrazyTwins

Four teachers dying every day of Aids
Standard Correspondent

The Ministry of Education loses between four to six of the 235,000 teachers daily through HIV/Aids.

Permanent Secretary Prof Karega Mutahi said there was a large number of teachers already infected and that many others are bed-ridden. This has affected teaching and student performance in both primary and secondary schools, he added.

"Sick teachers have to be on the payroll which means that the already stressed education system must carry a large proportion of unproductive persons,"

"That means that work is piled up on those not sick," he said.

Mutahi was speaking during the launching of the Teachers Service Commission Aids Control Unit at the Kenya Institute of Education in Nairobi.

"There is a lowering of test scores and standards of education and psychological trauma for the infected and affected," Mutahi said.

"If the HIV and Aids infection and death rate among teachers is not stopped, their important societal role will be diminished," the PS said.

He emphasized that schools should become more focal in the war against HIV.

Mutahi said the scourge poses a new challenge and threatens the provision and promotion of life-long quality education, training and research.

He said the teaching profession must be protected from any threats and there should be a guarantee that there is a sufficient number of teachers.

He also said there has to be an environment that enables infected teachers to continue to be productive. "This will no doubt ensure that the education system remains stable and the quality of performance is sustained and enhanced," he said.

The Teachers Service Commission chairman Ibrahim Hussein said the Commission would protect teachers suffering from the scourge.

"When we employed them they were healthy, so we will continue to protect them," he said.

Speaking at the same function, the National Aids Control Council Director, Dr Patrick Orege said the pandemic causes an economic loss of Sh200 million a day.

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