Magoha to meet president on Wednesday over full school reopening

Magoha to meet president on Wednesday over full school reopening

Education CS George Magoha has said the ministry will on Wednesday engage President Uhuru Kenyatta over a plan to fully reopen learning institutions.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has also called for a meeting with the 47 county chiefs on Wednesday to review impact of the phased reopening of the economy amid a surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.

Magoha on Monday argued that the children are better at school hinting on possibility of earlier reopening amid a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Magoha spoke as he inspected the delivery of desks bought under a Sh1.9 billion tender stimulus package at Mukuru Primary School in Nairobi.

“Opening for other students there is consultations in all government levels. On Wednesday we will engage the President then we will call for our internal meeting,” Magoha said.

Speaking at Mukuru Primary School in Mukuru Kayaba informal settlement during a tour to assess learning and delivery of desks for schools, Magoha said children are safer at school adding that most parents want their children in school.

“If you look at the children in school, they are all masked. When you go out, the opposite is true” observed Magoha.

Magoha says consultations on a possible full re-opening of schools are ongoing at every level of government with president Kenyatta set to engage governors and other stakeholders on Wednesday.

“After that, we will decide when to call for an internal education stakeholders’ forum to ensure that our decision is well informed” said Magoha.

Magoha said the government is taking all possible precautionary measures to ensure the coronavirus pandemic will not interrupt learning for those already in school.

The CS further called for calm noting that the ministry was handling the breakout of Covid-19 at Maranda High school insisting that the matter “is under control and the students are being isolated.”

Last Thursday, Magoha said the ministry will soon be meeting stakeholders to reach a consensus on the reopening of schools.

“As we watch this week lets us not be too intrusive… We are hoping for the very best…at the right time we shall open for the rest of the students” Magoha said on Monday.

Magoha also noted that all schools have complied with what is required except one school, which he declined to name on basis of giving them a chance to get their act in order.

The ministry of education and that of health have been monitoring events since the partial re-opening of schools early last month that saw Grade 4, standard eight and Form four learners resume learning under a revised calendar.

The closure of schools in March, resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, had seen societal vices including teen pregnancies, early marriages and child labour impact on the lives of learners.

Proponents of the full re-opening of schools argue that the country risks losing an entire generation with children said to suffer mild effects of Covid-19 disease and hopes of getting a vaccine.

This even as possible lockdown measures appear imminent with bars and restaurants the most possible casualties.

On the supply of desks to schools, Magoha said Education ministry officials have been deployed across the nation to ensure the desks are delivered as per government specifications.

“Every school in Nairobi shall get the desks… payment will be through M-Pesa. There is a small percentage of artisans who haven’t been cooperative,” he said.

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