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School exam dates won’t change, declares Magoha

By Irene Githinji
Friday, October 30th, 2020
Education CS George Magoha engages Class Eight candidate Nelson Wambete yesterday at Uhuru Gardens Primary School where he had gone to assess learning and delivery of desks. Photo/PD/John Ochieng
In summary
    • According to the initial plan, the rest of the learners were to start schools two to three weeks after the reopening of the three classes.
    • The new plan was to start third term in January for 11 weeks, with lessons ending March 19, 2021.

The government yesterday maintained there will be no changes to Standard Eight and Form Four national examination timetable, set for March next year.

This came as the Ministry of Education said plans are underway to convene a roundtable meeting, with stakeholders in the sector to deliberate on modalities to recall the rest of the classes back to school.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said there will not be changes to the timetable, since there are no plans to close schools because of the coronavirus surge lately.

Well-masked

“Like I previously said, we are not planning, for now, to shut down schools because of Covid-19 but when that time comes we will tell you.

For now, examination dates remain and the children should be encouraged to continue preparing,” said Magoha.

He made the remarks when he inspected the desk project at Uhuru Gardens Primary in Lang’ata yesterday.

“We are going to meet with stakeholders soon and when the time comes, we may perhaps be bold enough, if we reach a consensus, to tell you when the rest of the school will reopen,” the CS explained.

 He admitted to concerns amid spiking Covid-19 infections but stated that a similar situation is being reported globally.

“As far as Covid-19 is concerned, you can see children are not intimidated.

They are well-masked and like we have said, we have those that were donated by Kenya Commercial Bank and Unicef. We will give out the masks as need arises,” he said.

The CS said the decision to reopen for all learners has to be collective responsibility.

“Yes Covid-19 is spiking and it is not only in this country. What we are grappling with is whether to open for the other children or not,” said the CS.

Already, President Uhuru Kenyatta has summoned a national and county governments summit meeting next week to among other issues, discuss the rising Covid-19 cases numbers in Covid and find mitigating measures. He urged parents with children in boarding schools to pay fees, which is key in keeping children in school.

The CS also called for calm, saying the public should not be worried even when learners contract Covid-19, since the government is fully in control of the situation.

Playing games

“There are some schools that have been closed for 14 days and the ministries of Education, Health and Interior are working to ensure that the very best is given to learners,” affirmed Magoha.

He also said implementation of the economic stimulus project, which involved Sh1.9 billion is well on course.

“If there are still people playing games on the desk project, then using procurement rules you can award those doing well and have completed the job.

I can assure that money is being well spent and paid after thorough due diligence and for people it is meant for,” said the CS.

He stated that money will be paid directly through M-Pesa so that the middlemen cannot claim any part of the money before it gets to the rightful owner.

The desk concept is being implemented at sub county level with 653,000 desks expected to get to schools.

He also said the government is also looking at ways of helping schools destroyed by natural calamities and have either provided makeshift tents or moved children to other learning institutions.