Education CS Prof George Magoha on Tuesday stated that due to the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in the country, schools will not be reopened in September as was earlier announced.
While speaking at the KICD offices in Nairobi, Magoha outlined a number of conditions that must be met before schools are reopened. Reducing physical contact in learning institutions by having fewer learners will have a great impact in reducing COVID-19 cases and fatalities associated with reopening of learning institutions.Schools should only reopen when the daily percentage of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases have reduced consistently for at least 14 days (which is evidence that the country has passed the peak).Social/Physical distancing is the most critical factor in ensuring safety and health of learners for reopening of learning institutions.Handwashing with soap and/or use of sanitisers, wearing of face masks and monitoring body temperature will be the minimum requirements for the health and safety of learners.
Further, Magoha stated that it is also impossible to allow candidates back in school because that may mean there will be two Form One class cohorts in 2021 and equity challenges will arise if only two classes reopen and transition.
“The number of teachers required will increase because secondary schools will have a challenge of having enough teachers, especially for optional subjects, to meet the demand of split classes.
“In Form One, the compulsory subjects are 11, which will necessitate employment of more teachers to handle the Form One double intake cohorts,” said Magoha.
He also expressed concern regarding intercounty movement especially for those in boarding schools since there will be students travelling from Nairobi, Mombasa and other counties with high rates of infection.
“Since the infection curve is rising as we approach September, many parents have expressed strong reservations regarding sending their children to school.
“The 2020 school calendar year will be considered lost due to Covid-19 restrictions,” he said.