CS Education Prof. George Magoha has now said the decision on when public schools will reopen will be known after a mega stakeholders meeting on September 25th.
Addressing a press conference outside the Kenya Insitute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in Nairobi, the CS stated that there was still a need for more consultations among the key players in the education sector.
“We have looked at all aspects and we, as stakeholders, have come to a consensus that indeed it is time to relook this process (the reopening of schools). The doctors have told us the curve is flattening and so we should be prepared,” he said.
The meeting which took place at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) buildings did not put the issue of reopening to rest as the CS said if after a mega stakeholders meeting later this month a way is not found he will involve cabinet secretaries and high level government officials to conclude on the matter.
He said education stakeholders meeting will go on for a week before a review of the school reopening calendar happens next week.
“We have reactivated the smaller stakeholders group which we will engage with until Saturday when they shall present their findings to address smaller issues on reopening. Decisions regarding the reopening of learning institutions may change as informed by reports obtained from the Ministry of Health, prevailing circumstances and increased knowledge of Covid-19,” he stated.
The Education CS further addressed conflicting reports on the reopening of schools, stating that he would not be cowed by pressure from different quarters.
“All that was being said and printed in the newspapers were your opinions, there is only one bonafide spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, and that person, for the time being, is the Cabinet Secretary, who happens to be my most humble self,” Magoha stated.
He observed that that social distancing in public schools would remain a challenge. Earlier on, the CS revealed that the government had set aside Ksh1.9 billion for new desks which would facilitate social distancing once formal learning resumes.
He further stated that a report that KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion was opposing the government’s plan on the reopening of schools was false statement, and that the teachers’ representative was included in the stakeholders’ forum.
Magoha also touched on the pay of BoM teachers stating that the government had already disbursed payment to the teachers.
“BOM teachers should now actually have been paid. The Cabinet and the government approved their payment over six weeks ago, so let us not waste so much energy discussing non-issues,” he conveyed.