Schools are set for a phased reopening in November and the Ministry of Education will on Monday September 7 start training heads of basic and higher learning institutions on health guidelines in preparation for resumption.
Sources in the ministry reveal that schools may have a phased reopening by November, allowing Form Four and Standard Eight students back to school.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha revealed only three technical and vocational colleges were ready for reopening in line with the COVID-19 protocols. These include Rift Valley Institute, Eldoret and the Nyeri Polytechnic.
Magoha had also reported that five other institutions have made progress.
“About 50 per cent of the institutions are on a trajectory towards reopening. What has annoyed me is that this is the sixth week, yet we have to keep on saying the same things over and over. Once we are ready we will allow the students to sit their exams,” the CS revealed during his tour to Nyeri County on Friday, September 4 to assess the level of preparedness of Sagana Technical Training Institute
Prof Magoha disclosed that TVET principals were too slow in implementing the Covid-19 protocols.
Meru National Polytechnic Principal Geoffrey Rukunja was taken to task over insufficient water points in lecture halls and the dining hall.
“Institutions must ensure no one enters any facility without having sanitised. This is why sufficient water points have to be put up. There should be someone to ensure social distance is observed in the dining halls and if that is not possible, the table arrangement must be changed,” Prof Magoha said.
Education CS George Magoha also warned parents against pushing for the reopening of schools.
“Have we hit 5% positivity rate? No, we haven’t. The World Health Organisation stated that we have to achieve 5% for two consecutive weeks.
“Why are you in a hurry yet the pandemic is coming down? I have lost a relative who died of COVID-19. What about you? We have seen even leaders who have been hospitalised for suffering this disease,” noted Magoha.
The conditions set to be met by schools include ensuring adequate clean running water and sanitisation facilities in the institutions to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus.
In addition, schools are required to purchase liquid soaps, non-contact thermometers, disinfectants, facemasks and first aid kits
Learners below nine years of age will be required to be accompanied by class teachers upon arrival at school gates and escorted back when leaving.
Co-curricular activities such as games, drama, music, sports, inter institution competitions or any other events that could lead to crowding have been temporarily banned.
Schools will be required to refurbish washrooms and bathrooms to ease congestion that can pose a threat to students.
A COVID-19 response committee not exceeding five members and including one learner and a non-teaching staff member will also be established by schools.