Opening date set for tertiary institutions under strict guidelines

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 00:00 | By
Universities Academic Staff Union Secretary Constantine Wasonga addresses the press yesterday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

Institutions of higher learning will be allowed to reopen in September, subject to strict adherence to the Ministry of Health coronavirus protocols.

Education CS Prof George Magoha yesterday announced that Teachers’ Training Colleges, Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions and universities will first be subjected to intense inspection jointly conducted by education stakeholders to ensure safety of both learners and tutors once they reopen.

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

We will conduct inspections for schools before they can be allowed to operate,” said Magoha when he outlined changes in the education calendar at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) yesterday.

Universities sessions 

Magoha also explained that universities will be reopened for face-to-face sessions but on a case-by-case basis based on approved compliance with Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols.

He directed universities to continue holding virtual learning and graduations for students who have successfully completed their programmes and met graduation requirements set by their respective Senates.

 “Universities should consider phased reopening to achieve physical and social distancing, especially in halls of residence, lecture rooms and dining halls,” the CS said.

Key among issues that will have to be observed include reducing physical contact by having fewer learners, which the CS said will have a great impact in reducing Covid-19 cases and fatalities associated with reopening of learning institutions.

Physical distancing

 “Social or physical distancing is the most critical factor in ensuring safety and health of learners for reopening of learning institutions,” added the CS.

Handwashing with soap or use of sanitisers, wearing of facemasks and monitoring body temperature will be the minimum requirements for the health and safety of learners.

The CS said that the ministry will issue a comprehensive circular on the reopening dates while the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) will issue revised examination timetables.

But even with the new directives, Magoha said all the decisions made yesterday 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. 

The function was attended by education stakeholders across the board.

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