Prof Magoha rules out closure of schools as fears mount over learners unmasking

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha on Monday ruled out any possibility of rescinding the decision to reopen schools for the Grade 4, Class 8 and Form Four learners.

Addressing the press at Mukuuru Primary in Nairobi County, Prof Magoha said the learners will continue with the studies as was scheduled. The candidates are preparing for the KCPE and KCSE examinations that will come early 2021.

 “We have decided as government for now, that those students who are in school should continue to be in school because life must continue as long as you obey the protocols given,” he said.

The CS followed this by revealing an ongoing deliberation to strike a formula on how to handle the rest of the learners currently locked at home due to the virus.

“In terms of opening schools for all the others, there is a consultation at every level of government and as you are aware on November 4 we are going to engage His Excellency the President, with the governors and other stakeholders,” the CS told the press.

The country currently faces a challenge of second wave of the coronavirus, characterized by higher numbers of new cases and deaths.

On Monday, the country posted another 724 new cases and 14 extra deaths from the virus. In addition, Saturday marked the country’s worst day with over 1,000 new cases and 17 deaths.  Nairobi and Mombasa remain the danger zones taking the giant share of the daily Covid-19 infection numbers.

Speaking during the Covid-19 update on Monday in Kilifi County, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe called on Kenyans not to drop the guard on staying vigilant to fight the virus.

It is the escalating infection rate that pushed the government shut health facilities at the cost due to the lurking danger of the virus. Among the schools that were shut include Tononoka Secondary School that lost the principal to Covid-19 last week.

Students unmask

In the corridors of the schools are fears that the learners may end up continuing to contract the disease after dropping the calls to observe containment measures. The school heads recently told the press that they have challenges with learners failing to adhere to the provided Covid-19 protocols in schools, such as wearing masks and washing hands.

“Most learners are not wearing face masks, they do not care so much about proper use and hygiene of the masks and they also do not wash hands as frequently as it were before and this is a the new challenge in schools,” said Kahi Indimuli, the Chairmain of Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha).

According to the school heads, learners found themselves in comfort zone after spending two weeks in the schools and started to disregard the rules.  

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