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Invite all education stakeholders for a meeting before schools reopen, court orders Magoha

By Paul Ogemba | October 8th 2020 at 01:30:00 GMT +0300

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

A court has ordered Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to urgently hold a meeting among players in the education sector before schools reopen next week.

Yesterday, High Court Judge James Makau issued the order following an application by a parent claiming that Prof Magoha has announced reopening of schools on Monday next week, without giving proper guidelines on how learners will be protected from coronavirus.

“The Education Cabinet Secretary or his representatives should invite all parties in the education sector within the shortest possible time to reach a settlement on the issue of reopening schools,” ruled Justice Makau.

The judge directed that a report detailing resolutions made during the meeting be filed in court before October 14.

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Makau had previously stopped Magoha and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) from directing teachers to start community-based learning following a petition by a parent, Joseph Aura.

Mr Aura argued in his petition that it is unconstitutional to continue keeping children at home through an indefinite closure of schools while other countries, worst affected by coronavirus, have started reopening their institutions.

He argued there will be no difference between community-based learning set to start on September 1 and in-house school teaching since both lead to children gathering in one place.

Aura stated that since March 16 when President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the closure of all schools in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, his three children have suffered psychological torture because of staying at home for a long duration without any justifiable reason.

According to Aura, Magoha has continually stated that schools will remain closed until next year without consulting parents, the National Education Board and County Education Boards to find a solution for the welfare of children.

“The CS has been violating the constitutional right of every child to free and compulsory basic education," said Aura.

"He has deliberately and blatantly sabotaged the rights of millions of children who cannot access education.”

Yesterday, Makau granted the Ministry of Education and TSC three days to respond to the application before the hearing on October 14.

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