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Magoha gives school reopening dates as COVID-19 cases rise

By Irene Githinji
Tuesday, July 7th, 2020
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha. Photo/PD/RAPHAEL MUNGE

The 2020 school calendar year will now be considered lost due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said the 2020 academic calendar has since been re-organized and all basic education learning institutions will resume in January, next year.

And based on disturbing trend of Covid-19 surge, Magoha said stakeholders have shelved an initial proposal to reopen basic education learning institutions in September for Standard Eight and Form Four candidate classes.

“Faced with this uncertain environment, the stakeholders have resolved to reopen all basic education learning institutions in January 2021. This is based on the assumption that the infection curve will have flattened by December,” said Magoha, who spoke from Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, accompanied by education stakeholders.

He said the implications of this resolution will be that the 2020 examination classes will not sit for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.

“The 2020 Standard Eight and Form Four cohorts will sit their examinations in 2021,” said Magoha.

These decisions made on institutions’ reopening will apply to all children, including those in schools offering International Curriculum.

Explaining why reopening in September

However, Magoha said Teacher training colleges and TVET institutions will be allowed to reopen from September subject to strict adherence to the Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols.

“The Ministry of Education will issue a comprehensive circular on the reopening dates while he Kenya National Examinations Council will issue revised examination timetables,” added Magoha.

He said reopening of universities for face-to-face sessions will be on a case-by-case basis based on approved compliance with the Ministry of Health protocols. “Universities should continue holding virtual learning and graduations for students who have successfully completed their programmes and met graduation requirements set by their respective Senates,” explained Magoha.

He said universities should consider phased reopening to achieve physical and social distancing, especially in halls of residence, lecture rooms and dining halls.

All institutions allowed to reopen must comply with Covid-19 regulations or risk closure.

“All the decisions that we have made with stakeholders regarding reopening of learning institutions may change as informed by reports from the Ministry of Health, prevailing circumstances and increased knowledge of the Covid-19,” added the CS.