Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha says the re-opening of schools is not cast in any stone and will depend on the Covid-19 trends in the coming weeks.
He said "any time" means schools might re-open this year, asking parents to be ready for any eventuality.
The CS was speaking at the Wote Technical Training College in Makueni County when he visited to assess the institution's level of preparedness.
He said there was no confusion at all on the schools re-opening calendar as purported, adding that if the Covid-19 infections continue to fall, they will have no option but to return to normal.
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“We are observing the curve in two to three weeks and when it hits five [per cent] we can then sit down and make hard decisions. Under that period, we will have looked well into the Covid-19 protocols. The President also has the final say on the re-opening,” Magoha said.
On the level of preparation in schools, the Education CS criticised technical and vocational training institutes countrywide for not using the skills they teach to equip themselves on readiness to reopen.
Magoha directed that Kazi Mtaani youth be used in providing cheap labour for schools to avoid more expenditure.
“It is very cheap to use youths under the Kazi Mtaani initiative but these people don’t want to acquire those services since there is no room for them to possibly misuse funds. You must use these youth across the country so that they can make money,” he added.
The CS also questioned those using skilled youth to cut roadside grass when the country’s schools are in a wanting state and in dire need to provide their skills in meeting Covid-19 protocols.
“If we use Kazi Mtaani we are going to cut costs ... our country Kenya is not poor, we are poor in our minds,” Magoha said.
He said most of the colleges and other institutions of learning that he has already visited were in a sorry state whereas others are ready to resume learning.
Magoha asked county governments to assist in implementing most of the requirements instead of getting concerned with the County Technical Training Institutes (CTTIS).
On the President’s Education Stimulus Package announced in May which featured the allocation of Sh6.5 billion to support education, Prof Magoha warned those getting tenders to supply desks against inflating costs.
He said the implementation framework for improving learning in schools will involve officers from the Interior ministry to avoid theft of public resources.
“We are creating a system where every public secondary school gets between 50 and 100 desks. However, we are going to implement this with the help of the Interior Ministry to ensure no public money is lost and also have onboard all youth leaders in every sub-county."
He also said part of the work should be given to the Jua Jaki sector to support the youth, and also as continuity in ensuring the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) is upheld.