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COVID-19: Uncertainty of school reopening as stakeholders meet next week to chart the way forward

The physical reopening of learning is now in doubt following the sharp spike in coronavirus across the country. Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha was not commital on whether schools will resume earlier next month as planned.

Concerns are melting in the education sector as statistics indicates that there are surging deaths and infections of learners, teachers and non-teaching staffs.

Leah Kulei a tutor at Olmarai Secondary School in Baringo County and she died of COVID-19 at a Nakuru Hospital. She is now among the latest victim of a pandemic that has ravaged the country’s education sector.

Ministry of Education statistics indicates that 33 teachers, 18 students and 7 non-teaching staff have been confirmed to have contracted the virus. Some say this number could be conservative.

The government is seemingly at a crossroad over the resumption of physical learning in school. Education CS now says that it is the safety of learners that will inform the next step.

The government has however dismissed talk of the possible closure of learning institutions due to COVID-19 and instead, has asked learners to prepare for national examinations.

With many parents voicing concerns over the safety of their children, both the Health and Education ministries have come out strongly to give an assurance that stakeholders meeting will soon clear the air over the matter.

If everything had gone to plan after the resumption of classes for grade 4, standard 8 and form 4 learners on October 12th, Grade 5,6,7, Form 2 and 3 would have joined after 2 weeks on 26th of October this month as Grade 1,2,3 and form 1 would have reopened on 1st of November.

However, the virus has taken the government back to the drawing board. What looms now is if physical learning for other classes is suspended, there will emerge a clash in the transition of classes, For instance, class 5 and form 1.

As the pandemic continues to strike harder, some private schools have been forced to pay the price with about 219 of them being kicked out of business due to harsh COVID-19 environment. About 55,000 learners have been left stranded.

If the situation persists, most schools may be forced to follow suit.





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