Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha (pictured) has said candidates may write their national exams in April 2021, should schools re-open in September.
However, Prof Magoha said while the ministry favoured a September date, the decision was not final as the rising Covid-19 infections could occasion prolonged closure of schools that have been closed since March 2020.
“We are looking at the calendar so that we know when we can open schools and have candidates sit for the exams. If we opened in September, then we might do exams in April, beyond that it won’t be feasible to do the exams,” the CS said.
Magoha alluded to the prospects of the 2019 KCPE and KSCE candidates becoming the first group not to write the exams in a year.
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“If the national exams won’t be done by April 2021, then we must be prepared for what I don’t want to say at the moment,” the CS said.
This is an early hint that learners students may have to repeat the academic year.
Prof Magoha explained that settling on a date will not entirely come from the Ministry of Education, but after talks with various stakeholders who will have to approve the re-opening. “We did not make this decision by ourselves. After getting enough views from members of the public through our different stakeholders, we came to an agreement that schools can be reopened only if the right measures will be put in place,” said Magoha.
Magoha, however, said the reopening of schools is not 100 per cent guaranteed due to the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases that have been projected to peak in September and October 2020.
The CS was addressing members of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Covid-19 chaired by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
Sakaja was however opposed to the decision to reopen schools this year arguing that it will cause panic to children around the country as the disease has not been contained.