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Education CS Magoha Asks for Contingency Plans Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has shut down almost everything. Some countries have begun a total lockdown or a curfew as it is here in Kenya to try to contain the spread of the ‘not-yet-curable’ disease. Education has been paralyzed at all levels and this has led to people wondering “what next?” and so has Magoha who has now moved to ask all State departments under his ministry to come up with contingency plans in case Corona is not contained in the next few months.

Universities have indeed begun using online learning, but that also comes with its challenges. Connectivity to the internet is a big challenge, especially with the cost of buying mobile data. Data is not affordable to all students as they come from diverse financial backgrounds and geographical areas that may not have reliable 4G or even 3G internet connection.

It remains to be seen if the widely talked about Google loon 4G network balloons will help.

The initiative by Education CS Magoha is to try and come up with solutions in case the pandemic continues to paralyze all learning for an indefinite period. This entails the cost implications and possible ways of intervening to ensure the ministry is prepared for what is to come.

Officially, according to the national school calendar, schools were to close by this Friday the 10th April 2020, for end of first. As a result, Basic Education has begun to come up with solutions to make learning from home programs run smoothly.

The Ministry of Education has already been running an online program to try to help students learn from home via the Edu-channel, the Kenya Education Cloud, Edu TV Youtube, and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) radio channel.

The ministry is considering whether the timetable should be adjusted, or if the lessons offered online should continue.

So far schools have been affected by a loss of almost three weeks, and this was an effort by the state to try and control the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, this directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta will run until April 16. Unless COVID-19 is contained by then, this might mean an extension of this period and more ground will be lost.

The biggest conundrum for the ministry is what happens if schools resume by June? Or what happens if the second term goes by, and the coronavirus is still not contained? And worst-case scenario; if the pandemic eats into the third term, what happens? If the whole year is lost what will happen? Will all the students be forced to restart or repeat their respective classes or forms? Those are the puzzles the ministry will now try to solve.

Preparation of Textbooks for Grade five has been halted and the ministry will now decide what will happen at the point of the preparation process they had reached and whether the whole process should be delayed and wait out the containment of the novel coronavirus.

Besides, how recovery for colleges and universities will be done is also being considered if the virus is contained by June or August. Besides, there is a consideration whether if the first birch of training diploma teachers should be admitted this year.



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