Schools to re-open on October 12
By Mercy Asamba
| October 6th 2020
Schools across the country are set to begin a phased reopening on October 12.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha Tuesday ordered Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4 student back to classes after a 205-day hiatus occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Already, teachers are in their second week of school with no learners.
Prof Magoha announced that school calendar will run from Tuesday, October 12 to December 23, 2020.
Students will have one week break and begin term three on January 4, 2021, up to March 19, 2021.
The cabinet secretary added that KCPE will start on March 22, 2021 while KCSE will begin a month later on April 16.
Prof Magoha assured parents that the State had met the full costs of both the national examinations for all candidates.
Next Tuesday, all students and staff will be required to wear face masks, subjected to temperature screenings, wash their hands and observe high levels of hygiene.
“Where there is no running water, schools will use sanitisers,” Magoha said while acknowledging the challenge of physical distancing among students.
“Although physical distancing will remain a challenge, it should not be used as a bottleneck to keep any child away from school,” he said.
Prof Magoha added that his ministry had fumigated all learning institutions that had been designated as quarantine centres under the supervision of the Ministry of Health prior to their re-opening.
Teachers have been encouraged to continuously provide psychosocial and spiritual support to learners and school support staff in the wake of the pandemic.
Schools have been closed for more than six months due to the risk posed by the contagious virus to the learners.
And following the flattening of the curve, there has been confusion on when to reopen with Prof Magoha issuing unclear messages.
World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) had earlier released a statement urging African countries to reopen schools citing malnourishment and sexual violence facing some learners at home.
WHO argued that most African children from low income earning families risk suffering from malnutrition for lacking proper feeding they normally get in school feeding programs. WHO said that this and sexual violence pose serious health risks to the African school-going children currently kept at home.
Public universities and colleges resumed learning yesterday (October 5).
The Ministry of Education announced last week that students in their final year of study in all public universities and tertiary institutions to report first before others are allowed back.
The Magoha-led team also said that the reopening will only take place once respective institutions observe strict adherence to the Covid-19 health and safety protocols.
All those entering the institutions will be required to observe a high level of hygiene, wear face masks, wash their hands, and adopt innovative approaches to uphold the guidelines on physical and social distancing.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during his 12th presidential address had said the ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Health would be preparing a timetable for the resumption of learning in all the institutions.
Education officials and public health officials will continuously monitor and review the levels of compliance with respect to the protocols.
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