Uhuru Orders CS Magoha to Create New School Calendar

Ahead of Madaraka Day on the 1st of June 2020, many Kenyans anticipated President Uhuru Kenyatta might say something about the reopening of schools, which he did.

Closing of schools was one of the drastic measures the government had to undertake to combat the spread of COVID-19.

However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to continue having students at home. The school calendar has lost a lot of weeks and the question is how schools will recover from this enforced holiday.

Speaking at Statehouse in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked the ministry of education to come up with a revised new school calendar.

He also asked the ministry of education to draft a plan on how schools will reopen in order for learning to resume.

“The Ministry of Education is directed asked to hasten and finalize the consultations with stakeholders that will provide a suitable calendar for a gradual resumption of education in the country. The guidelines they come up with should also involve protocols that all learning institutions will follow to ensure the safety of our children.” Said the President.

The President also said he sympathized for candidates and parents as they were the most devastated by the current paralysis of education brought by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“I appreciate the anxiety that is weighing heavy on the minds of children and parents particularly those preparing for national examinations. I share the heavy hearts of all religious believers who can no longer gather and share in the worship of The Almighty,” he added.

This directive comes in amid the ongoing COVID – 19 crisis and this has brought everything but basic services to a standstill.

The ministry of education has to solve this huge conundrum of resumption especially as parents fear for the health of their children.

For instance in South Africa, teachers’ unions asked schools to defy the government’s order to reopen schools, and this led to a one week delay of reopening schools.

The unions demanded the S.A government guarantee the safety of both teachers and students.

They asked the government to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizers.

The Unions further complained on the lack of running water in most schools all over the country.

The national COVID-19 Education Response Committee presented to education CS Prof. George Magoha their report which included among other things, how schools are to resume.

The committee recommended resumption in September, and the students to sit for the national KCPE and KCSE examinations in February next year. This in their opinion will give candidates ample time to prepare for those examinations.

Previously, Prof. Magoha had insisted that the reopening of basic learning institutions will depend on advice from the health ministry officials.

While he was receiving the report from the national COVID-19 response committee in the past week, he stressed Wilson Sossions’ plea that students who are safe at home, are better off without exams, than do exams and die from the infection.

Magoha urged patience from parents and told them to prepare for students to stay at home longer depending on the health situation.

Some countries have flopped in attempting to reopening schools such as South Korea which ended up closing hundreds of schools as a result. This was due to a spike in new cases of the novel coronavirus. This led to the continued closure of 838 schools that were supposed to reopen the 29,902 schools in the East Asia region in cities such as Bucheon, Seoul, and many other cities.

Kenyans are anxiously waiting to have their eyes on the new school calendar which will greatly affect candidate classes.

The President’s directive will probably speed up the process as the ministry attempts to come up with a new school calendar and guidelines on how reopening will take place.

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Ministry of EducationNew School CalendarProf George MagohaUhuru Kenyatta