Directives Issued on Reopening of Nursery Schools

File image of a congested classroom in Kenya

Nursery school and kindergarten children will report to school a month after the reopening of primary and secondary school, the Council of Governors (COG) has announced.

In a statement on Friday, September 25, governors stated that they would undertake random testing of Covid-19 on Children in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDEs) centres before re-opening.

The county heads also urged the Ministry of Health to support counties with testing kits to facilitate the process.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya at Kenya School of Government (KSG) for a consultative meeting on February 20, 2020
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya at Kenya School of Government (KSG) for a consultative meeting on February 20, 2020
Simon Kiragu

"CoG has issued a directive that nursery schools (ECDEs) will reopen one month after the re-opening of the Primary and Secondary schools to allow for time to monitor the rate of infection and management of the pandemic at the County level," the county heads stated.

The governors stated that they had reviewed guidelines developed by the Ministry of Education in consultation with county governments on health and safety protocols on the reopening of ECDEs.

"These guidelines have been disseminated to all County Governments to enhance preparedness for reopening of the learning institutions," the statement read in part.

In preparation for the National Covid-19 Conference slated for Monday, September 28, 2020, the governors disclosed that they would launch the County Governments Re-engineering and Socio-Economic Recovery Strategy that would inform the annual planning and budgeting processes that commences in October 2020.

"It is our hope that this conference will enable us to candidly assess our progress in dealing with the pandemic. Also that we shall as a nation take stock of the experience accrued during the Covid-19 pandemic and harness best practices that will be our point of reference for any future pandemics," the county head added.

In earlier announcements, Education CS George Magoha had only disclosed plans to reopen schools with Form Four and Class Eight candidates being given the first priority to sit national exams. 

The Ministry had not issued a plan on how nursery schools and kindergartens would reopen.

On September 22, Education Principal Secretary (PS) Belio Kipsang wrote to the Ministry of Health requesting the vacation from schools used as quarantine facilities.

"We are requesting that these schools are vacated and fumigated by the 28th September 2020 to enable the heads of schools to prepare them for eventual opening," read the letter in part.

Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang
Belio Kipsang the Principal Secretary (PS), State Department of Basic Education, speaking at a previous event.

As of Thursday, September 24, Kenya had recorded 37,489 Covid-19 cases.