Education CS Professor George Magoha has revealed that the national government is planning to reopen learning institutions however, the decision depends on the rate of Covid-19 infections in the the country’s and availability of resources.
The professor was saying this on the conference of Covid-19 with the President, Kenyan governors and various stakeholders. He said he could not decide alone on when or whether to reopen schools but he must do consultations and work hand in hand with the Ministry of Health to make sure that all learners are safe from the virus.
Professor Magoha noted that if learning institutions are hurriedly reopened without a proper plan in place, then we would face a crisis in the learning process. He added that the school structure dictates serious learning problems if health precaution measures are not met.
He said that the Ministry has to take into consideration what the doctors say on the projection of the virus adding that the reopening of schools in 2021 is not casted on concrete & iron but what matters is the figures from the MOH.
He revealed that that preperation for reopening of schools by the Government was so expensive as he appealed with counties and donors to assist the government in the preperation of the education normalcy.
Facemasks and waters, Professor Magoha said was mandatory adding that the government will have to spend an amount of sh35 for each pair of mask that will be provided. Facemasks, he said will be re-washable and can be used for at least 6 months.
The Education Secretary however, noted that all that won't be achieved by the national government alone, but with the support of stakeholders and county governments adding that at least Ksh.1 bilion will be required to accomplish that task alone.
He recognized efforts made by UNICEF and World Bank in installing hand-wash water taps in various learning institutions adding that their efforts will help achieve the safety measures for reopening.
On the increasing numbers of teenage pregnancies, the cabinet secretary remarked that life of the pregnant teenagers was more important than anything else, as he recognized and appreciated efforts by the Ministry of Education so far.
He however revealed that on September 14th, the state will have a conference for all stakeholders to asses and strategies on post Coronavirus situation. After two weeks from this event, the state will monitor the coronavirus curve and decide whether to reopen the schools or not.
Magoha had also time to explain why MOE did not support the smooth transition of candidates but preferred the repeating of classes once education resumes. He said that there are 1.2 million candidates in class 8 and another 750,000 candidates in form four.
He questioned the capacity in place for the candidates to move to the next level. He noted that if the form 4 capacity was used, it would lead to an approximately of less than half a million learners.
He also had an opportunity to clarify why the education ministry has been contradicting in its information on reopening of learning institutions. The professor said, they have been forced to reconsider decisions due to the fluctuating Covid-19 curve which made it impossible to confidently give a reopening date.