Social distancing and regular flowing water in schools are some of the things that the government must work on before re-opening schools.
Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha is looking at ways of ensuring the learners adhere to the social distancing rule and availability of sufficient water in schools.
Speaking after inspecting the development of Ruiru Girls’ and boys’ schools in Kiambu County, Prof. Magoha regretted that the COVID-19 cases in Kenya had continued to increase because of people ignoring government regulations.
He called on Kenyans to observe the guidelines in order to contain the spread of coronavirus for schools to reopen.
The CS also urged Kenyans to give views to the 10-member National Education Response Committee evaluating the possibility of re-opening schools.
Meanwhile, Prof. Magoha dismissed claims of sidelining teachers and unions in the formation of the national education response committee.
The committee, which is chaired by the Chairperson for the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Dr. Sarah Ruto has representatives from the Kenya Primary and Secondary Schools Heads Associations, Kenya Private Schools Association, Kenya Association for Independent International schools, Kenya Special Schools Heads Association, parents, and religious groups.
The members are Indimuli Kahi, Chair Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association, Nicholas Gathemia, Chair Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association, Peter Ndoro, CEO Kenya Private Schools Association, Jane Mwangi of the Kenya Association for Independent International schools, Peter Sitienei, chair Kenya Special Schools Heads Association
The committee also have six ex-official members which include Ruth Mugambi, Patrick Ochich, Gabriel Mathenge, Paul Kibet, Ann Gachoya and Dr Loice Ombajo.
The terms of reference of the COVID-19 Education Response Committee are to:
- Advise the Cabinet Secretary on the reopening of Basic Education institutions (Pre-Primary. Primary, Secondary Schools, Teacher Training Colleges and Adult Education Institutions.)
- Review and reorganise the school calendar as part of the COVID-19 post-recovery strategy.
- Advise the Cabinet Secretary on ways of onboarding students/pupils when the schools re-open.
- Document all COVID-19 related matters, lessons learnt and recommendations for future preparedness.
- Advise the Cabinet Secretary on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the demand for education by poor households and suggest mitigation measures.
- Advise the Cabinet Secretary on the Health and Safety measures to be put in place for the pupils/students, teachers and entire school community.
- Identify institutions that may have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and advise on mitigation and recovery measures.
- Submit regular reports to the Cabinet Secretary on the implementation progress of COVID-19 related programmes.
- Any other related duty that may be assigned by the Cabinet Secretary.
The government postponed the re-opening of schools for one month to give more time for the fight against the spread of the contagious disease.