Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha now says that it is only President Uhuru Kenyatta who will decide when schools shall reopen.
According to the CS, schools will only reopen when adequate preparations have been put in place to ensure full compliance with the guidelines on COVID-19
CS Magoha however says that even if such preparations shall have been put in place, the decision and the responsibility to reopen the over 100,000 schools lies with the President.
“More than 100,000 schools remain closed across the country, but the decision to reopen them lies with President Uhuru, he is the one to decide whether he can take the risk,” Prof. Magoha said.
Speaking when inspecting the level of preparedness at the Siaya Institute of Technology, Prof. Magoha explained that the greatest challenge that the government is dealing with is ensuring that measures are in place before schools reopen.
During the visit, he asked Kenyans to ignore those pushing for the reopening of schools to allow students sit for exams, saying the lives of the students are more important than education.
“Others who have rushed have had to walk backwards, look at South Africa and America, kids have died, over 100,000 kids got infected in the US when they reopened, we do not want that,’ he added.
On August 7, Prof.Magoha threw a spanner into the works, saying that schools in the country may not reopen in January 2021, after all.
Prof. Magoha said the decision to allow learners back to class is largely dependent on the COVID-19 curve in the country, also mentioning that lack of funds to support expansion of infrastructure in schools is a big impediment.
With the 2020 academic calendar virtually wiped off, it now seems like the more than 15 million learners in primary and secondary schools in the country have something else to worry about.
The possibility that these learners could remain home beyond January is now looming large, as was the case for those in colleges and universities whose September reopening date was pushed forward.
Prof. Magoha admitted to these facts when responding to questions by the MPs during the virtual meeting on Thursday, remaining non-committal on whether there is a definite date for reopening of basic education learning institutions in the country.
The CS cited the spike in the daily coronavirus cases as one of the reasons that could push the reopening date further saying should the steady rise continue through the months of September to January, and with the lack of a vaccine to contain the virus, the current school set-ups may not support learning as many public institutions have so far not achieved any required set standards.