Ministry to review school calendar if pandemic continues

The Government may be forced to review the school calendar if the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic continues.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha, however, said the holiday duration will be informed by the situation on the ground following the rising cases of Coronavirus in the country.

The new development seems to be targeting private schools which have allegedly opened for the second term but through online learning.

He maintained that the 30-day extension of school opening dates applies to all private and public schools. Schools remain closed until June 4th.

Speaking during a daily Covid-19 briefing at Afya House, Sunday, Prof. Magoha reiterated that the government has not reached a decision to postpone the national examinations.

““Up to this point, the government has not decided to postpone the national examinations…The children should enjoy their holidays and schools shall remain closed effective 4th of this month up to 4th of next month. Give us time to do what we know how to do, professionally, the best way we know how to do it” he said.

The CS also took issue with parents talking about school fees and the reopening of schools, warning that the on-going crisis is a medical one.

“It is disturbing to hear parents just thinking about school opening and haggling fees. This is a medical crisis and not economic. The economic aspect is on the side. We must control the medical crisis first”.

The education CS said they were monitoring the situation closely and cannot risk the lives of learners by re-opening schools before the infection curve is flattened.

“If and when we are going to make the pronouncement that we either shift the school calendar or open schools, we shall wait for the appropriate time. I’m focusing on the disease and not opening schools”, Magoha added.

The CS said content for online learning for the national curriculum is available on the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) website and radio lessons are available for free.

While acknowledging the multiple challenges in implementing online classes, Magoha assured all children will be treated equally once schools reopen.

“Online coverage is accessible to all children but we know not all children are being reached. Efforts are being made to reach all children. When the government opens schools, we shall treat all children as equal and they will get content they didn’t get. I’m focusing on the disease”, he stated.

Kenya has recorded 465 cases so far.


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