why Court gave only 3 days for Magoha to settle school reopening

why Court gave only 3 days for Magoha to settle school reopening

A court has ordered Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to urgently hold a meeting among players in the education sector before schools reopen next week.

Yesterday, High Court Judge James Makau issued the order following an application by a parent claiming that Prof Magoha has announced reopening of schools on Monday next week, without giving proper guidelines on how learners will be protected from coronavirus.

“The Education Cabinet Secretary or his representatives should invite all parties in the education sector within the shortest possible time to reach a settlement on the issue of reopening schools,” ruled Justice Makau.

THE JUDGEMENT METED OUT WAS AS FOLLOWS

IN COURT ELECTRONICALLY  ON  6TH  OCTOBER, 2020 BEFORE HON.  MR. JUSTICE J. A. MAKAU (ORDER)

THIS MATTER coming up  for  mention  for directions  before Hon,  Mr.  Justice J. A. Makau electronically  on  6th October 2020 AND UPON HEARING the  Counsel  for the Petitioners,  Counsel  for the  Respondents and  Counsel  for the  1  Interested  Party_AND IN  THE ABSENCE OE Counsel  for the  2 to 7 Interested  Party AND WHEREAS THIS MATTER is  coming  in  Court electronically;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED

1)   THAT the  Respondents and  the  Interested  Parties  do  file their  responses  together with  their  respective  submissions within  the  next  3 working  days  from today.

2)  THAT the  CS  Education  or  his representative to invite the parties  in  this Petition and  stakeholders within  the shortest  possible time to  constitute  or  reach settlement  on  the issues  of reopening the school;  on  what conditions and  when and  report to  this Court on  or  by 14 October 2020.

3)  THAT the first  meeting shall  be held  on  7 October 2020 and  shall  be convened by CS Ministry of  Education  at the  headquarters  Nairobi  at Jogoo House.

4)  THAT the  Petitioner’s  Counsel and  Respondent’s  Counsel  and  1  Interested

Parties’  Counsel  to  be invited  and  be allowed  to  take  part  in the meeting.

5)  THAT  mention  on  14/10/2020 to  confirm the  outcome of the  meeting and  filing if need  be of the  respective  responses and  submissions and  for  further directions.

6)  THAT the  Interim  Orders  are  extended till  then.

GIVEN  under my Hand and the Seal of this Honorable Court this 6th day of October, 2020

The judge directed that a report detailing resolutions made during the meeting be filed in court within three days (before October 14).

Makau had previously stopped Magoha and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) from directing teachers to start community-based learning following a petition by a parent, Joseph Aura.

Mr Aura argued in his petition that it is unconstitutional to continue keeping children at home through an indefinite closure of schools while other countries, worst affected by coronavirus, have started reopening their institutions.

He argued there will be no difference between community-based learning set to start on September 1 and in-house school teaching since both lead to children gathering in one place.

Aura stated that since March 16 when President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the closure of all schools in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, his three children have suffered psychological torture because of staying at home for a long duration without any justifiable reason.

According to Aura, Magoha has continually stated that schools will remain closed until next year without consulting parents, the National Education Board and County Education Boards to find a solution for the welfare of children.

“The CS has been violating the constitutional right of every child to free and compulsory basic education,” said Aura.

“He has deliberately and blatantly sabotaged the rights of millions of children who cannot access education.”

Yesterday, Makau granted the Ministry of Education and TSC three days to respond to the application before the hearing on October 14.

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