By Getrude Matayo
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has told MPs that it is time to reopen all schools in the country. He also hinted learners will not repeat classes even as he steed claes on the exact school reopening dates.
“I think it is time we reopen schools according to recommendations by the education task force and the strategy we have now is that one will recover the whole year,” CS Magoha told the National Assembly Committee on Education.
Magoha on Tuesday told the parliamentary committee that they are prioritizing students in Class Eight and Form Four in the second phase of schools reopening to be announced soon.
He said that while achieving social distance will be a challenge in the schools, Kenya needs to be at par with neighboring countries despite the pandemic.
He cited the cases of Zambia and Angola which he noted to have their children in school after emerging from the pandemic.
CS Magoha said that plans are in place to supply learners, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with face masks which we have received from the UNICEF and the KCB.
“It is time to open and just as His Excellency said, we just need to know-how. I cannot give you a date but I assure you that the government of the Republic of Kenya is taking every measure into consideration. What we must ask ourselves is what is going to be different in January 2021?” Magoha said
CS George Magoha said that the social distance will be a tall order but expressed confidence that with the employment of other mitigation factors like facemasks and handwashing, the students can be kept safe in schools.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday failed to give an exact date for the resumption of in-person learning, saying the focus should be on the safety and health of the learners.
During the address, the president directed Prof Magoha to finalize on how schools would reopen safely, saying this would inform the decision on the actual reopening date.