Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has said nothing will stop the reopening of schools come Monday next week.
The CS said the government has done everything possible to facilitate the resumption of learning after the nine-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking in Murang’a during a tour to assess the preparedness of schools, Prof Magoha said the government cannot allow school children to continue staying at home, since so much time has already been lost.
He said in his own assessment schools are well prepared to have leaners back and that the ministry will push the few that are lagging behind to put the right measures in place.
He admitted that the issue of social distancing is bound to be a big challenge since there are not enough classes to accommodate learners as per the regulations by the Ministry of Health.
Prof Magoha urged teachers to be innovative and explore other options such as outdoor learning to decongest classrooms.
“If the weather allows, learners could move out where there is more space and take their lessons,” Magoha said.
Learning must continue
At the same time, the CS took issue with a section of leaders who have been opposing the reopening of schools, saying they just want to confuse parents and learners.
“Those who want to continue keeping their children at home can do so for their own reasons but learning must continue” he said.
Prof Magoha also said all learners will be required to have their facemasks on to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
He also said the government plans to distribute facemasks to needy learners.
“The masks shall be given to the children in the most vulnerable areas and whose parents cannot afford the masks,” he said.
The CS further warned teachers against sending students home over school fees, saying the government will disburse funds as soon as the National Treasury releases the money.
“We have Sh19 billion to facilitate free education for both primary and secondary school and this money shall be wired to the school by next week,” he said.
Sh14 billion shall be allocated to secondary schools and Sh5 billion for primary education.
The CS said learners in private schools which have been closed down should be admitted in public schools for them to continue learning.
“We have given firm instructions that no child from private school should be denied admission in any public school,” said Magoha.
He said the ministry will provide guidelines for candidates who will have moved from examination centers on how they shall sit for the exams.
The CS also said expectant learners will continue learning until their time to deliver arrives, saying pregnancy should not be a hindrance for the learners to go back to school.
“Even those who have been married off, we want them back. But they should be handled with care by both parents and teachers” he said.
At the same time, the CS said the ministry is paying special attention to the children with special needs who require more care.
Magoha reiterated that national examinations will be administered as scheduled, saying there are some forces which are out to sabotage the exercise.
“There are some cartels who want to frustrate this exercise for their own reasons, but this will not happen under my watch,” he said. – Nation Media Group