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Govt Orders Schools To Resume In January 2021, Return For Universities In September 2020 Remains

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Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has on Tuesday July 7 ordered for all schools to resume in January 2021; that is pre-primary, primary and secondary.

The regulations also apply to all international schools across the country.
He suspended plans for schools to reopen from September 1, 2020 as initially announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 6, to Standard 8 and Form Four learners.

He attributed the current decision to the spike in coronavirus cases in the country that have so far crossed the 8,000 mark to 8,067.
“Based on the rising trend, we agreed to shelve classes. The country will be severely affected as all other children will lose the year. It shall be impossible to achieve social distancing. In consultation with the Ministry of Health, stakeholders agreed that reducing physical numbers in classes will affect learning, schools should only resume if cases reduce consistently for 14 days and social and physical distancing is the most critical factor in ensuring the safety of learners, handwashing and using masks and monitoring temperature will be crucial too,” Magoha stated.

He also has scrapped the KCSE and KCPE 2020 examinations. The respective candidates shall sit exams later in 2021.

All learners in grade 1 to 4, Standard 5 to 7 and form 1 to 3 will remain in their current classes in 2020.

The Education CS, speaking at KICD on Tuesday further stated that the learners will sit their examinations later in 2021.

TTCs, TVETs and universities have however been spared as they will be reopened in September, but with strict adherence to anti-virus rules, with the ministry underway in exploring online learning.

This therefore means that the school calendar for 2020 has been officially declared lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Education will also release a calendar for 2021 at a later date.

On Monday, July 6, while announcing the reopening of the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed Education CS George Magoha to notify the public on the resumption of the 2020 Academic Calendar for Basic Education and Tertiary Institutions.

The CS had earlier on stipulated several directives to curb the spread of the virus in schools with the focus on teachers, infrastructure and the number of students per class. Magoha detailed that teachers would be tested for Covid-19 ahead of the resumption of studies.

The teachers were asked to report to their schools two weeks before the reopening date. The maximum number of learners in a classroom would be between 15 and 20 with each learner provided with two masks. All schools would also be equipped with thermo guns to aid in determining the temperatures of all individuals who will be seeking access to learning institutions.

The new calendar comes in the aftermath of a see-saw decision by the CS on reopening of schools by September 1. Magoha had advised the President on going ahead with reopening of schools by that time, arguing that the coronavirus caseload had spiked.

He also hinted at moving national examinations to April 2021 and resumption of studies to January 2021 on the basis of safety of the students.

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