State suspends phased schools reopening due to virus infection surge

The government has suspended the process of phased reopening of schools which was supposed to target other learners still languishing at home citing increase in Covid-19 cases.

The development implies that only learners of Grade 4, Class 8 and Form Four will continue with face-to-face learning after they reopened two weeks ago. And even those who are continuing with their studies at the moment are not enjoying the confidence of the State owing to the surge in cases. The media reported on Thursday that the Ministry of Education is still monitoring the status of reopened schools and will use the findings as a gauge to decide on the reopening of schools for the other learners.

The Ministry of Education will rely on advisory from the Ministry of Health to sanction the decision of opening schools. The decision to open schools was made after the infection rate fell below five per cent. The decision was in consistence with the requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in reference to safety reopening of schools.

The surge in Covid numbers has already made the Kenya Association of International Schools (Kais) to make a u-turn in the phased reopening of schools. The body has advised against the move due to the increase in the rate of infection above the recommended mark.

This comes after 15 teachers drawn from Coastal schools; Tononoka Secondary and Star of the Sea Girls High School, tested positive for the virus. The authorities had no alternative but to order immediate closure of the learning facilities as they directed that the schools be fumigated for two weeks before being considered for reopening.

Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4 learners are currently taking assessment tests which began on Monday and Wednesday. The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) said the tests are meant to bring the learners up to speed with the syllabus.

Yesterday, Kenya registered the highest number of Covid-19 infections after 1,068 people tested positive for the disease. Twelve others succumbed to the virus.

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