All students are to report back to school on January 4, 2021, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced Monday — his strongest signal yet on the new school calendar after months of flip-flopping on the matter.
Some 10 million learners are out of class due to restrictions placed to curb the spread of Covid-19. Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4 students returned to school on October 12.
"All schools will reopen fully on January 4, 2021," Prof Magoha told a televised press conference after a stakeholders' meeting to draw up the dates.
"This will apply to PP1 and 2, Grade 1,2,3, Class Five, Six and Seven, and Form One, Two and Three," announced Prof Magoha.
To recover a lost year, the resuming class will be in school for their second term until March 19. They will then proceed on a seven-week break ending May 9.
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During the holiday, Class 8 and Form 4 will sit their KCPE and KCSE examination.
The third term will begin on May 10 and run through to July 16.
"Grade Four and incoming Form One (Class Eight graduates) will stay at home as other learners complete their third term," said Magoha.
All the students will then begin a new school year on July 26, 2021.
Term one will run for 10-weeks ending October 1. The second term will start on October 11 ending on December 23 where after they will proceed for a Christmas break for 10 days. The third term will begin on January 3, 2022, ending on March 4. National examinations will be administered in March.
The new school dates were arrived at in a meeting between the Ministry of Education and all education stakeholders after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the education ministry to find a solution to the school resumption challenge.
International schools will also follow the new calendar from January 4, 2021, CS Magoha said, adding that four-year-olds will join PP1 in July.
The Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia reminded teachers who are 58-years-old and above and with pre-existing health conditions to remain at home when schools resume and not fear being sacked by the employer.
"I want to assure our teachers that the employer is in no business of dismissing them and especially when this has been a presidential directive. We just want you to take care of your health," she said.
The hustle now shifts to ensuring the safety of learners as they go back to school. Already, the government is racing against time to deliver more infrastructure to ensure the proper social distance between the students.
Prof Magoha appealed to benefactors to aid in the supply of masks for students, stating that they were the most crucial item to ensure that the plans run smoothly.
"As we prepare the schools for reopening, the most important constant is going to be the masks. We already have some mask in store to cater to the poor but we don’t mind getting any extra," said Magoha.