The government is leaving nothing to chance as it prepares to reopen learning institutions in September.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said yesterday he has embarked on a tour of schools across the country to ascertain their level of preparedness before learning resumes.
The ministry, he said, was focusing on the availability of ample learning space, water and other stipulated public health requirements.
“We are doing everything possible to make sure schools re-open, but this calls for concerted efforts from other players in the education sector, including parents,” argued the CS.
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But Prof Magoha said consultations would be conducted before a decision is made on the national examinations calendar.
There’s the possibility that Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams may not be administered between October and November, as has been the norm.
Magoha regretted that most schools in Teso North and Teso South lack basic facilities.
“Most schools in Western have water tanks installed using CDF money. We appreciate MPs’ efforts. In Busia County, however, most schools lack these facilities. We urge local MPs to borrow a leaf from their counterparts across the region.”
The CS said schools should have enough classrooms and desks to accommodate learners and allow for social distance as well as the thermo-guns for measuring temperature.
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Magoha, however, insisted schools will only reopen if and when it was safe to do so because “we don’t want to put lives of our children at risk”.
According to Magoha, schools with stretched learning facilities could be forced to erect tents for use as classrooms. This could mainly affect institutions with large numbers such as Kakamega Primary School, which has 3,000 pupils.
“We will be engaging stakeholders on this. We will also consider the possibility of lower classes learning in shifts where some would attend morning classes with others coming in the afternoon,” said Mahoga.
He asked head teachers to ensure the teaching staff are taken through thorough training on how to handle Covid-19 before schools reopen.
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“They should be aware that face masks have to be worn properly before they can pass the same knowledge to the learners,” the CS said.
He took issue with individuals in the Ministry of Education and other departments out to mint money from the Covid-19 crisis amid ongoing plans to reopen schools.
The CS said the agreeable formula to reopen schools would be reached by all the stakeholders.
“Once we agree on a realistic formula, I will inform the president,” said Magoha.