Senate Directs Magoha to Re-Open Schools in September

  • proceedings underway at the Senate during a past session
    Proceedings underway at the Senate during a past session.
    File
  • Chairperson of Committee on Education in the Senate, Dr. Milgo Alice Chepkorir on Tuesday, July 21, read out the various protocols to be observed for the reopening of schools.

    Various directives stood out such as the proposed deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces personnel within the schools, as well as the proposed reopening of learning institutions in September 2020.

    Weighing on the risk posed by the coronavirus against educational risk, the Senate Education committee detailed several recommendations necessary for the reopening of learning institutions across the country.

    A teacher and students inside a classroom at Kawangware Primary School, Nairobi, on October 5, 2015.
    A teacher and students inside a classroom at Kawangware Primary School, Nairobi, on October 5, 2015.
    Daily Nation

    The committee's recommendations are listed as follows;

    A phased reopening of basic education and learning institutions beginning September 2020, to allow a division of classes into smaller groups and allow each group its own specific room where learners only interact with classmates in their assigned group.

    Priority should be given to the national examinations KCPE and KCSE so that they can continue with syllabus coverage and prepare for examinations.

    The first lessons for students following reopening should cover similar topics including; epidemic prevention, health care maintenance and how to respond to emergency drills.

    Prohibition of usual morning meetings and parades, cancellation of all sporting activities and field trips so as to be able to adhere to social distancing. 

    Frequent cleaning and handwashing practices should in this case be observed and conducted twice a day.

    All members of staff and learners should always wear clothe face masks, desks and other work stations should be spaced at 6ft apart and also minimize time spent inside closed-door rooms.

    The Ministry of Education (MoE) should outline standard opening procedures for dealing with potential exposure to coronavirus and ensure that learning are able to manage identified infection or symptoms within the school by providing isolation rooms.

    The MoE should mobilize support and assistance from different government departments and agencies including the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) and National Youth Service (NYS) to provide sanitation and water in schools.

    MoE should ensure that there are adequate handwashing facilities, basins, running water and soap in appropriate stations within the schools. 

    MoE should liaise with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to ensure that all learning institutions can access public health personnel as well as expertise to be able to help while school is going on.

    MoE should also provide regular and strict internal as well as external monitoring and evaluation that should be reported as a bi-weekly report presented to Parliament, Teacher's Union and to 
    the National Parents Association.

    MoE should provide sufficient resources to rescucitate the digital literacy programs to ensure that all learners have access to updated digital materials and curriculum coherent to facilitate effective delivery of distance learning.

    The County Director of Education should continously assess the readiness of school facilities to ensure they are meeting the minimum health and safety standards necessary to support covid-19 mitigation strategies.

    MoE should engage with all like-minded decision makers and education leaders to inform decisions related to educational priorities and facilitate school re-opening.

    CS Education Prof George Magoha while releasing 2019 KCPE results at Mitihani House in Nairobi on Monday November 18, 2019
    CS Education Prof George Magoha while releasing 2019 KCPE results at Mitihani House in Nairobi on Monday November 18, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke