CS Magoha Maintains Stand After Uhuru's Directive on Reopening Schools

  • Education CS George Magoha appearing in parliament on September 30, 2020.
    Education CS George Magoha appearing in parliament on September 30, 2020.
  • Education CS George Magoha on Wednesday, September 30, maintained that it was time to reopen schools, arguing that the Covid-19 situation may remain the same even in January 2021.

    "We have to ask ourselves what will be different in January 2021, if there won't be much difference, we need to move towards a consensus to reopen schools as soon as possible.

    "I cannot give you a definite date, but I can assure you that it is time to reopen learning institutions, because we do not expect any much difference now," he stated when he appeared before the national assembly's Departmental Committee on Education.

    Education CS George Magoha in parlaiment on September 30, 2020.
    Education CS George Magoha in parliament on September 30, 2020.

    His remarks come after President Uhuru Kenyatta's stated that Kenyans should not focus on when schools would reopen, but on how they would resume -  in a manner that will protect the lives and health of children.

    Uhuru noted that schools would only reopen after the Education and Health Ministry has sufficiently guaranteed the safety of learners

    CS Magoha however reiterated the president's remarks that reopening of all learning institutions should take cognizance of the guiding principles provided by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of  Education. 

    He further stated that finalists and examination cohorts in universities, teacher training colleges and TVET institutions should be prioritised.

    Already the Ministry had set the reporting dates for final year students in all public universities and tertiary institutions on Monday, October 5.

    "For schools, reopening should prioritize candidate classes (Standard 8 and Form 4) and the pioneer competency based curriculum (CBC) cohort (Grade 4) to facilitate smooth transition," CS Magoha told the legislators. 

    On the Ministry's intentions to supply desks to schools, the CS explained that the Ministry would contract local carpenters in every region, to make them and pay according to the market price.

    "This will ensure that schools get the required desks (50 per secondary, 70 per primary) and nobody pockets the money," he stated.

    Teachers had already reported to their workstations following a directive by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

    In a notice, teachers will be tasked with developing timetables, preparation of schemes of work, working on the Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD), coming up with psycho-social support systems among other duties.

    Education CS George Magoha visiting a school in 2019.
    Education CS George Magoha visiting a school in 2019.
    The Standard