Another meeting set to discuss the reopening of schools

Education stakeholders will meet before September 25, 2020, to put the brush on the finer details that they will agree on to reopen the schools, the docket Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has revealed.

Prof Magoha on Monday, September 14, hosted a group of stakeholders in the education industry to chart the way forward and agree on the when to reopen schools. However, the CS did not reveal to the media what the meeting resolved. He only hinted at another meeting to finaly put things into perspective.

The stakeholders included the Ministry of Education, teachers and their union representatives, parents and many others. The CS blasted the media accusing the fourth estate of misreporting and portraying him as being indecisive. He said that some media outlets would use anonymous sources to come with stories whose tales and angles were completely off his stand as the head of the ministry.

Last week, the Cs had another onslaught on the scribe when he said the government had not concluded on reopening schools in November as the media widely reported.

“We will not open (schools) in November. The fourth estate has continued religiously to write what I have not said. The opening of school will be in January 2021, but it will also depend on how the virus behaves and the ability of the schools to comply with some things,” he said.

He urged against speculation of when the schools would be reopened claiming that any decision on the matter would be made in the said meeting before September 25.

“We have decided to reactivate the smaller stakeholders group between now and Saturday to work on the finer details of the proposals that shall be interrogated by this larger stakeholders group and even at that time I succeed in getting backroom approval then I will tell you what we have decided,” said the Education CS. 

But as of September 9, 2020, last week, the media reported that the government was yet to disburse Sh15.4 billion meant for infrastructure and paying salaries of workers. CS Magoha who had toured the technical colleges to assess their preparedness for resuming learning in the wake of Covid-19 praised the efforts of three Institutions-Rift Valley Institute, Eldoret Polytechnic and Nyeri Polytechnic- which he said had done great job.

“We have inspected many institutions but so far these are the best. They are not completely ready, but I can dare say that they are going to reopen ahead of others,” he said.

Prof Magoha also applauded Mt Kenya and Strathmore universities for their refined approaches to maintain social distancing when learning resumes.

“I am impressed by the level of preparedness I have witnessed, including automatic sanitiser dispensers, provision of tanks for washing of hands, and good classrooms spacing. This is very encouraging,” Magoha said.

The countries infection rate fell below 5 per cent after the new infection cases dropped to 48 on Monday. The 5% mark is the level World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended for countries inching towards opening schools.

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