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Education: University rolls out raft of safety measures against Covid-19 ahead of proposed re-opening

By Philip Muasya | July 25th 2020
South Eastern Kenya University (Seku) Vice-Chancellor professor Geoffrey Muluvi launches hand sanitisers produced by the university's department of physical sciences. [Philip Muasya/Standard]

South Eastern Kenya University in Kitui County has put in place elaborate measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 ahead of the reopening of tertiary institutions.

The university’s vice-chancellor, Geoffrey Muluvi, said yesterday they are ready for re-opening after ensuring safety of students in line with the Ministry of Health protocols.

Prof Muluvi spoke at the university’s main campus in Kwa Vonza, while taking the media on a tour to show them the preparedness ahead of reopening.

He was accompanied by deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic, Research and Student Affairs Zipporah Ng’ang’a and other staff.

The university through the department of physical sciences has kicked off production of hand sanitisers for the more than 10,000 students. Already, close to 1,000 units of 500mls have been produced after getting approval of Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).

“Our university is involved in research, that is why we challenged our lecturers to come up with a hand sanitiser that meets all the standards and is safe for use. We have already received a certificate of approval from Kebs and we are now embarking on mass production of the products,” Muluvi said, adding that they had also acquired thermo guns.

The VC said they have set up giant dispensers at strategic points for sanitisers, liquid soap and water.

To ensure minimal physical contanct between lecturers and students, all the departments at the university have digitised their curriculum for remote e-learning. 

“The university has adequately invested in ICT to ensure remote teaching using technology. We shall blend both physical and digital learning where some lessons will be broadcast to students, they will be able to follow the lessons in classes and outside,” he noted. Wireless internet connectivity is available to students where they are able to log in at various spots spread within the university.

The lecture halls have also be rearranged to accommodate few students. A class that previously had 40 students will now have a maximum of 15.

The biggest lecture hall that accommodated 700 students will now be available to only 150 students. The rest of the students will follow the lessons digitally, the vice chancellor said.

In the hostels, beds have been re-arranged at 1.5 metres apart.

The university’s department of textile and clothing is also involved in mass production of face masks, which will be sold at Sh30 per piece to students.

“We have made sure that we are self-sustaining in terms of products and items needed to contain the spread of Covid 19,” Muluvi said, adding that in two week’s time, the university will invite a joint team from the ministries of Education and Health to inspect the facilities.

The VC at the same revealed that construction of Kitui town and Wote campuses in Makueni County at a cost of Sh1 billion will be complete in the next 30 days. This will create room for more students.

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