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Ministry launches of Covid-19 national education response committee

The  Education Ministry has appointed a nine-member committee to take charge of the process of exploring the best possible strategies of restoring normalcy in the education sector.

This comes in awake of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that has hurt the basic education sector most and was threatening to wipe out the gains made to stabilize the academic calendar.

The  Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha  who launched the team on Tuesday at Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development (KICD) said the committee, who work starts immediate effect, would be chaired by KICD Chairperson, Dr. Sara Ruto.

The  committee Terms of Reference would be to advise the CS on the reopening of the basic education institutions; pre-primary, primary and secondary schools, Teacher Training Colleges and Adult Education Institutions.

The committee should also review and reorganise the school calendar as part of the Covid-19 post-recovery strategy and advise the CS on ways of handling boarding students/pupils when the schools re-open.

Documentation of all Covid-19 related matters, lessons learnt and recommendations for future preparedness would also be looked at.

The CS said the committee would also look into the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the demand for education by poor households and suggest mitigation measures.

The committee, whose Secretariat will be located at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, will further advise the CS on the Health and Safety measures to be put in place for the pupils/students, teachers and entire school community.

The committee is to also identify institutions that may have been adversely affected by Covid-19 and advice on mitigation and recovery measures as well as submit regular reports to the Cabinet Secretary on the implementation progress of Covid-19 related programmes.

The CS noted that although schools were expected to resume learning when the Second Term was scheduled to start on May 4th, 2020, the Government extended the reopening date for one month to given more room for the scaling up of the national efforts to fight the spread of Covid-19.

In the meantime, Prof. Magoha said the Ministry has come up with measures to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 in the education sector, including mounting of online learning and the drafting of a master-plan to guide the response to Covid-19 in the sector.

The  Members of the committee are Indimuli Kahi Chairman, Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association, Nicholas Gathemia Chairman, Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association Peter Ndoro CEO, Kenya Private Schools Association, Nicholas Maiyo Chairman, Kenya Parents Association and Augustine Muthigani from Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Others  are Jane Mwangi, Kenya Association for Independent International Schools. Dr. Nelson Makanda of National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Sheikh Munawar Khan from Muslim Education Council and Peter Sitienei Chairman, Kenya Special Schools Heads Association.

Ruth Mugambi from KICD, Patrick Ochich of KNEC, Gabriel Mathenge (TSC), Paul Kibet Director, Secondary Education MoE, Ms. Anne Gachoya Directorate of Policy, Partnerships and EAC and Dr. Loice Ombajo Ministry of Health/University of Nairobi have been named as ex-Officio members.

Upon the outbreak of the Covid-19 in Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the closure of all schools and other learning institutions on March 15th as part of the measures to control the spread of the virus.

By  Wangari  Ndirnagu

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