Top government officials have been dispatched to various parts of the country to assess learning environment in a new order by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The officials are expected to conduct schools’ appraisals, propose immediate solutions to noted challenges and report cases that require long-term interventions.
Cabinet Secretaries and Chief Administrative Secretaries have in the past one week been making impromptu visits to public institutions to assess learning as schools opened.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, this week, led eight CSs to Oloolua Primary School in Kajiado North, giving a glimpse into the new directive to assess status of schools.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, Amina Mohammed (Sports), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Najib Balala (Tourism), James Macharia (Transport), Keriako Tobiko (Environment) and Adan Mohammed (East African Community) visited the school to assess resumption of learning and adherence to Covid-19 health protocols.
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And now, Saturday Standard has established that all the principal secretaries have been directed to visit at least 10 schools a day, with firm instruction to give reports on status of schools.
PSs who spoke to Saturday Standard said they had been instructed to check if schools have adhered to the general back-to-school Covid-19 protocols.
The PSs are split into clusters of three that constitute 14 solid teams. Each cluster has been allocated three to four counties to visit. And in each county, each of the PSs is required to visit between five and 10 schools.
The audit will also look into the institutions’ infrastructure needs, availability of water and electricity.
In some cases, the PSs will also check if the government’s Digital Literacy Programme (DLP) is on course and report cases where it has not been rolled out.
“The silent instruction is that we must deliver as one government. And this will entail looking at the general school learning environment in an exercise that will end on January 15,” said one PS.
It also emerged that some schools are yet to receive desks and chairs and government officers have been directed to ensure full delivery.
The development will build on the efforts by Prof Magoha who has been visiting schools to assess the general preparedness of schools before and after opening. It also emerged that during the visits, teachers will be told that realising safe distance protocols may not be easy and implore them to fully implement the use of masks.
Overall, the PSs are expected to assess the general rate of return to schools by both learners and teachers.
The officers will look at the rate of return of learners to schools against the institutions’ expected enrollment.
According to the directive, measures of mopping up absentee learners to return to schools will be instituted based on the school-based findings by the PSs.
The move comes as the government projected that a number of learners may not report to schools due to early pregnancies, early marriages, child labour, and drugs and substance abuse.
The PSs have also been instructed to visit schools to assess the adaptation of teachers and pupils to the new learning protocols.