Schools Reopening: Magoha Issues New Directives After Emergency Meeting

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    Education CS George Magoha addresses the media at Pwani University in Mombasa on Wednesday, September 9, 2020
  • Education CS George Magoha issued new directives to school heads and County Directors of Education during an emergency meeting held on Friday, September 11 to discuss the phased reopening of schools.

    The CS issued primary and secondary schools a six weeks deadline to prepare for the resumption of studies with the key focus on social distancing.

    County Directors of Education (CDEs) were directed to ensure that 622,000 desks, lockers and chairs were made and delivered to schools by October 19. 

    The equipment will be funded by the Ksh 1.9 billion Economic Stimulus Program and CDEs will contract small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Kazi Mtaani youth to manufacture the lockers. 

    Education CS George Magoha (sitting at the centre) demonstrates social distancing to education stakeholders during a crisis meeting in Nairobi on Friday, September 11, 2020

    30 public primary and secondary schools in each sub-county will benefit from this package. 

    "We usually give you responsibilities but you never complete them. That is why you see me going to the fields (for inspections). We shall come and interrogate you on the level of preparedness.

    "We will also want to know how you issued the contracts. If your brother has a workshop that is not functioning, don't give him the tender. However, do not discriminate against local firms too," Magoha directed.  

    The desks will be constructed in a unique way as opposed to the normal ones being used in schools. Each student will have a personal desk that has space to hold books and a large writing surface.

    The desks will be spaced to achieve the one-metre distance and the desks will be arranged in rows facing forward and away from the doors to minimise face-to-face contact between the learners. 

    Secondary schools will maintain the single-locker and chair sitting arrangement. 

    Schools were further directed to erect tents to create additional space for learning. Students will also be taught under available sheds in the compound. 

    Boarding schools were tasked to convert spacious dining halls into dormitories to ease congestion in the hostels. 

    In an earlier proposal to parliament, Magoha warned that it would be considered an offence for students to share personal items such as brushes, beds, textbooks, slippers and attire.

    Education CS George Magoha (left) assesses the level of preparedness at Rongo University on Wednesday, August 26, 2020