Schools will open on October 19 while Standard Eight and Form Four learners will sit their national exams in April 2021 if the government adopts proposals by a task force appointed by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha.
The task force that was set by Prof. Magoha to assess the possibility of school reopening has recommended that schools should be reopened as early as October 19. The findings will be presented to the Ministry of Education on Monday, after which a mega meeting with stakeholders will be held on September 25, 2020.
The team has recommended gradual reopening of schools, with the first group of class 7, class 8, form 3, and form 4 students reporting first on October 19th. The next phase will involve Pre-Primary 1 and Pre-Primary 2, followed by Grade 1-3. The rest of the park is expected back to school by November 2, 2020.
During a stakeholders meeting at KICD, CS Magoha suggested that an official statement on school reopening dates would be made by 25th September once the Ministry holds a meeting with all stakeholders.
Several institutions in the education sector have already made preparations for school reopening. TSC has advertised over 11,000 teaching positions, which will be filled by September 29, 2020. The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) has also created assessment tools for schools to monitor students’ learning progress once schools reopen.
The Ministry of Education has also established health guidelines for schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. For instance, each learning institution should identify an emergency health facility within 10 km and have health personnel on standby in case of an emergency. The guidelines also require boarding schools to maintain social distance in dormitories, laboratories and classrooms. Furthermore, toilets should maintain a door to student ratio of 1:25 for girls and 1:30 for boys.
CS Magoha had already hinted the reopening of technical and vocational training colleges (TVETs). Speaking in Mawego Technical Training Institute in Homabay earlier this month, CS Magoha said that the report for technical and vocational institutions was ready, and that the curve was flattening. “Teachers can start to prepare to report back to their schools to make them habitable before students report,” CS Magoha said.
Following this recent development, it is clear that school reopening dates in Kenya are drawing nearer and nearer each day. It is just a matter of when rather than whether schools will be reopened this year.
Parents who had used their school fees for investment or alcohol should better do something now while the sun is still shining.