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Community-based-learning Suspended, As President Uhuru Kenyatta Mulls Education

The High Court of Kenya has suspended the rolling out of Community-Based-Learning which the Ministry of Education was is planning to use to engage pre-primary, secondary and primary school learners during this Coronavirus pandemic.

Ministry of Interior, TSC and the education ministry were in their final preparation step of kicking off the program that would impact Covid-19 related knowledge and life skills to learners as they await for the 2021 school reopening.  

The program that is set to be conducted in September, in villages and towns, saw thousands of teachers enrolling to work hand in hand with local administrators and leaders of various communities. 

On Wednesday, Justice Makau suspended the CBL program due to the accusation by a parent, Joseph Enock Aura, that Teathers Service Commission and the Ministry of Education failed to engage the public in it's implementation plan.

The accuser wants schools reopened in 1st of September claiming that learners including his children are affected by the school closure. He added that since the suspension of face-to-face learning, the government has extremely failed to install possible solutions to curb the pandemic and allowing children back to school. 

In his petition represented by lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, he states that the closing of learning institutions does not offer solution to the coronavirus pandemic, since it is impossible to certify its rate of mortality. 

He continues to state that the closing of schools has instilled pain and suffering on learners especially to the final year school candidates. He also accused Health CS Mutahi Kagwe together with Education CS Magoha, of not consulting education stakeholders in their planings.

Lastly, through affidavit, he accuses the two cabinet secretaries of consistent expression of careless indifferences. He believes that due to parent's tight schedules, learner's idleness and access to online materials, children continue to risk their lives more at home than in schools as witnessed in the  cases of teenage pregnancies, access of adult contents among others.

He wants the acts of turning more than 400 institutions of learning into quarantine centers be declared illegal as it violates the public health act. Mr Aura seeks the determination of court as to whether President Muigai's March 25th school closure  directive holds any legality in the constitution.

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He argues that it was illegal since the directive was never gazetted or approved by members of Parliament at the National Assembly and therefore clising schools was a violation of children's right to education. 

The case was urgently certified as two days period was given to Mr Aura to serve Health ministry, Education ministry, Attorney General NCCS with the petition for response filing. The case was set to be mentioned on 9th of September 2020.

Education CS Magoha on Reopening Learning Institutions. 

On 19th August, Education CS Magoha said he will only reopen schools when the minimum Covid-19 precaution measures are met adding that president Uhuru is the only person who can reopen schools. He noted that even when these conditions are met, President Kenyatta will be responsible for the decision to resume face-to-face leaning in schools. 

Speaking at Siaya Institute of Technology in Siaya County in an inspection tour of readiness to resume studies, Magoha said the Ministry of Education is facing obstacles in ensuring conditions are met before reopening of institutions. 

He pleaded with the Kenyans not to listen to those demanding the resumption of studies in schools for candidates adding that education is less important than the lives of learners. Giving examples of South Africa and United States of America which were in hurry to reopening schools, Magoha revealed a virus infection of over hundred-thousand learners in U.S as many kids lost their lives. 

It was on 7th Aug, 2020 when the education CS made it public that education normalcy may not resume in Jan next year where he revealed that financial constraints was hindering the progress of school-reopening. He insisted that resumption of face-to-face schools learning will depend on the rate of Covid-19 infection rate. 

The virtually suspension of the 2020 school calendar has reasons for millions of learners in Kenya to worry about as the probability for school-going children to stay at outside schools continues to loom high, as witnessed in the universities case where September reopening date was forwarded. 

When facing the members of assembly few days ago, Magoha publicly hinted that there was no definate reopening date for schools in Kenya as he insisted that resumption of learning will depend on the coronavirus trend. 

He noted that without vaccinations to curb the pandemic, normal school situation won't support education as many public learning institutions do not meet the minimum requirements health conditions. However in his recent remarks, Prof Magoha announced that studies may resume earlier than the expected January 1st.

He expressed government's willingness to reopen institutions of learning any time as long as the pandemic cases decline.  Recently low covid-19 Cases have been captured in the country as expressed by President Kenyatta. 

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