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Poor turnout as Maseno University reopens after Covid-19 break

There was poor turnout at Maseno University as the institution opened its doors to final year students as directed by the government.

Some 4,600 students are expected to report at the university by Tuesday before physical examinations are administered starting Wednesday.

State Department for Post Training and Skills Principal Secretary (PS) Alfred Cheruiyot who visited the institution to assess the level of preparedness said the institution had met all the regulations as directed by the ministry of health.

He said students reporting at the university will have their temperatures checked before being admitted as a precautionary measure to detect any symptoms of Covid-19.

– Post Training and Skills PS Alfred Cheruiyot (L) accompanied by Maseno Vice Chancellor Prof. Julius Nyabundi (centre) and Nyanza Regional Director of Education Chepkawai Limo took time to tour some of the lecture and accommodation structures at Maseno University on Monday October 5, 2020. Photo by Joseph Ouma.

The PS noted that this was necessary since the institution does not have the capacity to conduct covid-19 tests on the 4, 600 final year students expected to report by Wednesday.

Speaking at the University’s Main Campus in Maseno, Cheruiyot asked the management to ensure social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitization measures are enforced as the examinations kick off.

Maseno University Vice Chancellor Prof. Julius Nyabundi confirmed that the institution has met the Ministry of Health requirements but said social distancing was the biggest hurdle.

“We have been forced to reduce the numbers in our lecture halls by a third. This has presented us with the challenge of creating additional space to absorb the huge student population,” he said.

The same challenge was being experienced at hostels but the university was working with the Ministry of Education to address the challenge.

Cheruiyot added that after the examinations the university will explore ways of calling in more students with priority being given to those not enrolled for online programs and first years who were to join in September.

“Covid-19 is here with us but we cannot remain shut forever. We must look for ways of reopening the institution as we continue to manage the pandemic,” he said.

Maseno University as a total population of over 20, 000 students and given the measures put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19 disease, social distancing remains the institution’s biggest headache if all the students were to be recalled.

 

By Chris Mahandara

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