The Ministry of Education and stakeholders have resolved that all Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs), Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETs) and universities will reopen for face-to-face sessions in January 2021.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said they had also resolved that a robust multi-sectoral approach will be employed to step up preparedness for reopening in compliance with MOH protocols on mitigating the COVID-19 effects.
He was speaking Thursday as the Ministry of Education met with all stakeholders to deliberate on the current preparedness for phased reopening of Teacher Training Colleges, TVET and Universities as earlier intended starting from September 1st, 2020 at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
“The meeting was held on the understanding that the decision to reopen all basic education learning institutions in January 2020 is upheld as agreed at an earlier meeting of education stakeholders held here on July 7th 2020.” Said Magoha
He said universities should continue offering virtual learning, examinations and virtual graduations but in strict adherence observance to quality measures set by the Commission for University Education’s the University Standards and Guidelines.
Saying priority should be given to final year students to ensure they can graduate.
So far he noted that Dedan Kimathi University and Riara University have held virtual graduations with Egerton University also set to hold a virtual graduation on 31st July, 2020 while the University of Nairobi is set to hold a virtual graduation on 25th September, 2020.
” Virtual orientation of first year students has been successfully undertaken in KCA University in May, 2020 and Dedan Kimathi University in June-July, 2020. This should be extended to other universities.” He said
Magoha said all institutions will continue making arrangements for re-opening based on the provided guidelines and checklists. But authorization to re-open for face to face teaching, learning and research, will be based on further guidance from Ministry of Health based on the dynamics of preparedness.
The CS said the ministry is looking into ways of supporting continued on-line learning for university students by supporting HELB to facilitate them for the acquisition of on-line learning facilities and resources.
At the Basic Education, he said the the stakeholders observed that, although the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development continues to provide remote learning through radio, television and online programmes, there are some children who are unable to access these programmes.
He said the Ministry of Education and TSC, using a multi-agency approach, and in collaboration with chiefs and the Nyumba Kumi initiative, will implement a community-based learning approach where teachers will be mapped with learners to offer learning at no cost.
“The TSC will provide guidelines on the implementation of the programme.” He added.
At the sametime, he said the government has set aside sufficient funds to pay Board of Management teachers, non-teaching staff including security men and women to ensure proper maintenance and safety in schools.
“The Ministry wishes to assure all stakeholders that a rigorous programme is place to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the country and will keep informing the country on the best steps to take to ensure normal operations within the sector resume when safety of learners and staff can be guaranteed.” Assured the CS .
At Thursday’ s meeting, the stakeholders noted that:
1. The current situation regarding the COVID-19 situation has kept worsening, with an average number of new positive cases daily averaging 600 in the last one week. As of yesterday, the number of reported positive cases stood at 19,125, some of them affecting staff of universities and colleges. The University of Nairobi has already lost four members of staff as a result of COVID-19.
2. Since July 7, 2020, the Ministry has embarked on putting in place measures to ensure smooth reopening of higher learning institutions in line with COVID-19 protocols, while taking cognisant of the developments in the pandemic emanating from the Ministry of Health.
3. A survey of all Teacher Training Colleges, Universities and TVET institutions has shown that few of them have put in place necessary measures to comply with the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 protocols that can guarantee safety of staff and learners once they reopen.
4. The final decision on the reopening of the TTC’s, TVETs and universities will be
dependent on the guidance from the Ministry of Health.