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Basic Education Learning Institutions Will Reopen in January 2021

The  KNUT  Secretary-General, Wilson  Sossion (left) together  with the Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha (right) on Tuesday July 7, 2020  makes his remarks during a press conference on re-opening of learning institutions calendar at Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development in Nairobi. Photo by KNA.
Dr. Sarah  Ruto, the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development Chairperson (left) flanked by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha (right) explains how her committee arrived at decisions on re-opening of learning institutions calendar during a press conference at KICD in Nairobi on Tuesday July 7, 2020. Photo by KNA.

The  Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), George Magoha has announced that all basic education learning institutions will be reopened in January 2021.

Prof. Magoha said stakeholders resolved on the date basing the assumption that the infection curve on Covid-19 will have flattened by December, 2020, noting the reopening will apply to all children, including those in schools offering International curriculum.

He said due to the current pandemic there will be no Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in 2020 of which the affected candidates of the two examinations will sit their examinations in 2021.

“The 2020 school calendar year will be considered lost due to Covid-19 restrictions and to ensure learners are engaged, the ministry will enhance remote learning through on online, distance and e-learning and explore innovative approaches to promote equity,” he said.

Prof. Magoha said the reopening of basic education learning institutions in September 2020 for standard eight and form four candidate classes has been shelved to avoid the country experience equity challenges when only two basic education classes reopen and transition while the other learners lose on year.

The  CS  who  was speaking on Tuesday at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development however, noted that Teacher Training Colleges and Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions will be allowed to reopen from September 2020 subject to strict adherence to the Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols.

He at the same time announced that the reopening of universities for face-to-face sessions will be on a case by case basis based on approved compliance with the Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols, adding that institutions that fail to comply with the containment regulations will be closed.

“I urge Universities to continue holding virtual learning and graduations for students who have successfully completed their programmes and met graduation requirements set by their respective senates,” Prof. Magoha said.

He further told universities to consider phased reopening in order to achieve physical and social distancing, especially in halls of residence, lecture rooms and dining halls.

The CS said the President has accepted the stakeholders’ recommendations saying social and physical distancing is the most critical factor in ensuring safety and health of learners for reopening of learning institutions.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country as of yesterday was at 8,067.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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