Uhuru set full reopening of schools to January 2021

Uhuru set full reopening of schools to January 2021

The president said that with exception of Candidate classes all other classes will resume learning in January 2021.

“With exception of candidate classes, all basic education to resume learning in January 2021,” said the president this afternoon on his 13th state briefing on Covid-19 pandemic.

However the President said the learning will only continue under heightened health safety measures.

“With respect to the examination classes that have already resumed learning, I hereby order that they continue with their learning and examination preparations but under heightened health safety measures, and also order that all basic education classes resume in-person learning in January 2021,” he said.

This means that Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4 classes will continue with learning as other classes wait to resume learning in January 2021.

President Uhuru directed offices to work remotely.

He ordered all Cabinet Secretaries, Cabinet Assistant Secretaries and Principal Secretaries to scale down all in person engagements within government to scale down to virtual means.

The President also ordered State officers above 58 years to work remotely during this surge in Covid-19 cases.

“State officers above 58 years to work remotely except those serving in critical sectors,” said Uhuru.

Uhuru stated that students who had resumed classes would continue learning but under heightened measured. 

The president spoke after the Sixth Extraordinary Session of the National and County Governments Co-ordinating Summit. 

This means that the academic year is lost for the over 10 million primary and secondary school children who will not move to the next class when schools reopen next year.

Uhuru said Constituency Development Fund (CDF) will support schools to fully reopen by January 2021.

He said CDF and NGAF boards to make investments for additional handwashing points, masks for each child and ensure physical distancing in schools.

He said schools will remain under heightened health safety measure for Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) Chairman Kahi Indimuli had protested lack proper funding by government.

He said only Sh500 per student was allocated towards management of Covid-19, leaving institutions exposed.

“Most of the schools are working within thin budgets to keep children safe in schools,” Indimuli said.

His Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) counterpart Nicolas Gathemia said the Government did not allocate any money towards Covid-19 management for primary schools.

“They only disbursed the normal capitation with no mention of Covid-19. Most heads have had to be innovative by diverting some money towards management of the disease,” said Gathemia.

This means if more learners were to be sent to school, the Government would have huge financial responsibility to keep them in class while observing the Covid-19 protocols.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has suspended all political gatherings and rallies for 60 days with immediate effect.

Those wishing to have such meetings should do them in town halls and limit attendees to a third of the capacity of the halls.

Nationwide curfew has also been extended to January 3, 2021.

From today, curfew will be enforced between 10 pm and 4 am.

All bars, restaurants and other establishments must close by 9 pm.

All operators of hotels, bars and eateries that sell alcohol must ensure enhanced compliance with Ministry of Health protocols on COVID-19. Those who fail will have their businesses shut down.

Any indoor gatherings shall have no more than a third of its ordinary sitting capacity.

Those who will have no masks will not get services in government and private facilities.

Localized lockdowns may be issued in areas and county that will witness upsurge in COVID-19 numbers.

“Where there is an upsurge of COVID-cases in a specific county, the national government will consult the affected county to issue localized lockdowns and movement restrictions as may be necessary to stem the spread of the disease,” he said.

The President noted that the Covid-19 positivity rate which was at 4% in September has shot up to 16%.

In October the country had registered more than 15,000 new cases and approximately 300 deaths. 

Uhuru recalled that he had warned the nation against backtracking on the gains, cautioning that the cases could spike if Kenyans did not continue to observe the mitigation measures. 

The President stated that the government would double its efforts to enforce Covid-19 safety measures.

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