Do you have school fees for your kids safely banked? If yes, do not squander it. This is after Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha hinted at the possible reopening of schools sooner than 2021 earlier anticipated.
Speaking to the media in Migori County where he toured tertiary learning institutions, the CS said his ministry was paying attention to the decreasing Covid-19 infections and could decide to reopen schools if all indications are clear that the country’s curve is flattening.
Magoha said: “You’re aware the virus is starting to look like it is going to stagnate…we’re saying should the situation change, we shall be ready and willing to look at the scenario once again in the interest of our children.”
“As far as the government is concerned, ours is to open the learning institutions like yesterday… the bottom-line is our children should be reasonably safe when they return. We’re doing everything possible including ensuring that water sources and sanitisers are available… we’re even in the process of providing masks where it’s possible.”
Prof Magoha then proceeded to Kisii County on the same tour where he further revealed that the government was preparing to reopen tertiary learning institutions in September to stabilise the adherence to the learning calendar.
“We are keenly following teachers colleges for September reopening as they will help train and be ready for trainers of trainees for those who will have the first intake on new curriculum next year,” Magoha remarked.
The CS has come under immense criticism of late as Kenyans have accused him of flip-flopping and failing to nail a firm stand on reopening of schools. This is after he Magoha cast doubts on the reopening of schools when he toured Siaya Technical Institute last week. Magoha said that he could not take up the decision of opening the learning institutions since that was a gamble that could only be taken by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
At the time, a parent, Joseph Aura went to court and sued the CS for what he termed as failing to craft clear-cut schools reopening plan. Through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, the parents served Magoha with the demand letter asking him to reopen schools because the closure was holding children hostage.
At his doorstep was another blow served by a ruling by High Court judge James Makau. The court ruled directing his ministry and the Teachers Service Commission to desist from rolling out community-based learning.
“A temporary order is hereby issued restraining the Education CS whether by himself or through his agents and the TSC from implementing, undertaking or executing the community-based learning across Kenya pending determination of the suit,” ruled Justice Makau.
This dealt a blow to the ministry that was hoping to depend on community-based learning to sustain the learners as the country waits on the severity of the pandemic to subside. At the same time, the CS blasted calls for reopening schools saying those are initiatives by the cartels trading with school heads that have no interest of learners at heart.