Only universities and tertiary institutions which will have met required health protocols will be allowed to re-open in September, Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha has said.
Magoha on Wednesday noted that officers from his ministry are on ground to inspect all universities and tertiary colleges to ensure they comply with health guidelines given to stem spread of covid-19.
Speaking when he toured Murang’a Technical Training Institute which is under construction, the CS said by September, the learning institutions which will meet World Health Organization (WHO) protocols to contain spread of covid-19, will be given the nod to re-open.
“We are going to inspect all colleges and universities to ensure they meet the laid down guidelines before we allow them to re-open. Those which do not meet the requirement will remain closed,” said Magoha.
He said social distance of about 1.5 metres in lecture halls and hostels must be observed once the learners are allowed back to colleges.
“In universities it’s easy to observe social distance and other needed requirements. The management of the institutes of higher learning may decide which faculties to re-open first and also which courses to be done online,” he added.
The CS observed that inspection has been done at university of Nairobi and Strathmore university and their reports are about to be released.
Meanwhile Magoha expressed concern on delay of operationalization of Murang’a Training Institute which is located within Maragua area.
Construction of the institute commenced in 2012 but has stalled twice due to lack of funds with the CS accusing former local leaders of delaying completion of the institute.
“This college is one of the biggest in the country and I direct officers in the ministry of education to work out on how to bring in needed equipment so that the institution can start admitting students,” he said.
Maragua MP, Mary Waithera said she has been pushing for the institute to start operation but it lacked water and power connection. “Kenya Power Company has promised to instal a transformer so the institution can be connected. Local CDF will allocate some funds to sink a borehole here for learners to get water,” she said.
“The institute has been equipped with part of training facilities but equipment for some departments is yet to be installed,” she added.
So far the construction of the institution has cost Sh.264 million, which is much higher than other institutions being constructed in sub counties.
Waithera said after the college starts training, plans are on to upgrade it to a National Polytechnic. “I appreciate the CS for visiting this institute. We hope the college will start admitting students probably from January next year if Covid-19 is contained,” she added.
By Bernard Munyao