School Reopening: Challenges Facing Magoha Ahead of Mass Reporting

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    Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha assesses Grade 3 learning at Joy Town Special School in Thika in September 2019
    File
  • Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced that all students would be expected to report to school by November 2

    The ministry also put in place plans for the phased reopening such that there would be staggered reporting in line with the Covid-19 safety rules as highschool students began reporting on Monday, October 12. 

    However, eventually, the large number of students will be confined in the schools when they all report back. 

    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

    CS Magoha will have to contend with the reality that Kenyan schools are overcrowded 

    The average number of student population in Kenyan public secondary schools is generally 40–59 students per class. 

    The social distancing rules will be hard to enforce in such an environment. In secondary schools the crowding will extend to dining halls and dormitories where students are usually left to themselves. 

    On Tuesday, October 13  a day after the first batch of high school students reported, the Ministry of Health reported 318 new Covid-19 cases. 

    Months ago when the country was registering the same number of cases, Magoha had declined to reopen schools, citing the safety of students.

    The CS will be at pains to explain why with the rising number of reinfections, the Ministry has embarked on the resumption of learning. 

    Some parents have also expressed unwillingness to send their children back to school with the threat of a second wave of Covid-19. 

    A number of Kenya's 11,000 private schools have closed down due to the effects o Covid-19, while others have been repurposed into lodges, apartments and chicken coups. 

    Some of the institutions which are unlikely to reopen will make parents transfer their children to public schools which are already over crowded.

    The large numbers are expected to stretch out the human resource even as the Teachers Service Commission hires 11,000 more tutors. 

    Education stakeholders will be waiting to hear how CS Magoha plans to address all the concerns. 

    Education CAS Zack Kinuthia in an interview with Kenyans.co.ke presenter Kimani Mbugua
    Education CAS Zack Kinuthia in an interview with Kenyans.co.ke presenter Kimani Mbugua
    File