By Getrude Matayo
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha, who spoke to the National Assembly Education Committee said that the planned January reopening of primary and secondary schools may have to be pushed further.
According to Prof. George Magoha, the decision to allow learners back to class is largely dependent on the covid-19 curve in the country. Mentioning that lack of funds to support the expansion of infrastructure in schools is a big implement.
Education CS George Magoha on Thursday told MPs the ministry will take drastic measures, including scrapping boarding facilities, to keep children safe.
With the 2020 academic calendar virtually wiped off, it now seems like more than 15 million learners in primary schools in the country have something else to worry about.
Magoha said that the state was also considering localizing teachers to schools within their villages as part of the measures.
The possibility that these learners could remain home January is now looming large, as was the case for those in colleges and universities whose September reopening date was pushed forward.
The CS said the scrapping or suspending boarding facilities would be immediate if the Covid-19 curve will not have been flattened by January.
Prof. Magoha admitted to these facts when responding to questions by the MPs during the virtual meeting on Thursday, remaining non-committal on whether there is a definite date for the reopening of basic education learning institutions in the country.
“Futuristically, we shall focus mainly on day schools. It will be difficult maintaining social distance in the cubicle of eight learners,” Magoha Said
He said that learners will be issued with two reusable face masks to be worn at all times during their stay in schools.
The CS cited the spike in the daily coronavirus cases as one of the reasons that could push the reopening date further saying should steady rise continue through the months of September to January.
With the lack of vaccine to contain the virus, the current school setups may not support learning as many public institutions have so far not achieved any required set standards.
Already, the ministry has engaged the National Youth Service, Rivatex, and the Kitui County Textile Centre to supply the masks. Officials estimate around 26 million face masks will be needed for both primary and secondary schools.
So far, over 124 private schools have closed down due to a lack of finances to support their operations.