The Ministry of Education says it has developed health and safety protocols for implementation by all learning institutions ahead of the planned resumption of learning.
In a circular issued to principals on Friday, Education Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang said the measures are in line with the ministry of health guidelines which will advise consequent action in efforts aimed at containing COV1D-19 pandemic.
” It should be pointed out that the country is still at risk of the COVID-19 Pandemic hence the need for strict adherence to all Government mitigation protocols at all times.” Said Belio.
He called on the principals to strictly adhere to the reopening dates and protocols.
In the protocols, all Teacher Training Colleges are required to engage with trainees to build confidence on COVID-19 preventive and control measures to ensure health and safety of the college community; ensure availability of clean running water for drinking and maintain updated bio-data of all trainees and staff and contacts of their parents/guardians for easy management of COVI-19 related emergencies.
The institutions will also be required to ensure that trainee transportation in College buses comply with the Legal Notice No. 50 of 6th April, 2020 on capacity; ensure adequate security and safety measures, including provision of a fence/barrier and guards to restrict unauthorized entry into (and exit from) institutional premises. Visitors shall be restricted to all training institutions.
Dr Kipsang adding that respective colleges will be required to provide adequate liquid soap, cleaning detergents and disinfectants to ensure proper hygiene practices and that all Principals at Teacher Training Colleges shall ensure daily cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by many people (stair railings, desk tops, knobs, light switches, walls, desks, door frames and window handles, teaching and learning materials).
They will also be required to put up signs and posters that require and remind staff, trainees and visitors to maintain social distancing as well as hand washing and personal hygiene and that principals ensure proper use of facial masks or face shields that must be worn by trainees and staff at all times.
Other protocols include principals to ensure educational facilities that were used as quarantine centers are disinfected and confirmed safe and ready to resume operations; availability of temperature guns for daily monitoring of body temperature for all trainees, strengthening of guidance and counselling services as well as provision of psychosocial support to trainees.
They will also be required to develop clear and specific institutional based policies, procedures and processes for prevention of spread of COVID-19 in line with the guidelines on health and safety protocols; establish mechanisms for mental, psychosocial and spiritual support to learners, staff and parents; revise rules and regulations to be responsive to the changes occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic including consideration to trainees and staff with pre-existing conditions, most vulnerable trainees and those living with disabilities.
Respective institutions will also be required to constitute a COVID- 19 Response Committee and maintain strong networks with the nearest health facility, the County Rapid Response team, National Government Administrative Office and nearest Education Office to strengthen surveillance. They should also align their reopening plans in respect to infrastructure, water and sanitation and hygiene preparedness.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha had directed phased out resumption of face to face learning in Tertiary Institutions late last month.
Detailed guidelines and protocols for colleges reopening and continued studies are accessible on the Ministry of Education website.