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Education PS recalls Field Officers in a bid to beat Uhuru’s Reopening Deadline

Field Officers to the Ministry of Education have been recalled to help in preparations for the reopening of schools come January 4, 2021.

The directive was issued by PS to the Ministry of Education on Thursday the 24th of December, as he rushes to beat the deadline for reopening given by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The government has directed administrators of Primary and Secondary Schools to admit students from private institutions in January 2021. This is in light of the financial strain the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has imposed on almost every aspect of world economies leading to increased lay-offs.

Many private schools shut down due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government also failed to cushion private schools from the effects of a prolonged closure of all learning institutions in March due to COVID-19. Teachers working in these institutions were not paid for months as the private schools struggled financially.

Parents who had learners in private schools have been rushing to get admissions for the children in public schools as they either cannot afford the school fees for private schools or the private schools their children used to attend have shut down.

Heads of secondary and primary schools have since lamented the admission of more learners owing to the fact that it will lead to congestion. Infrastructure in public schools has also not seen any financial allocation from the government.

While speaking during the Jamhuri Day celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta warned Kenyan parents against failing to take their children to school in January 4, 2020, as schools reopen. President Uhuru tasked the Ministry of Interior to enforce the directive come January 4, 2020.

“To guarantee that no child is left behind, I hereby direct and order as follows: That the Ministry of Interior shall, through all chiefs, account for all children within their jurisdictions.

“I direct that the Ministry of Education shall receive reports from all primary and secondary schools, regardless of the system of education, (and) details of any child or children who have not reported back to school as directed,” he stated.

President Uhuru ordered the Ministry of Education to publish the education policy on school reentry in order to facilitate readmission for those who may not be able to report because of being pregnant.

Ahead of schools reopening, the National Treasury and Planning Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery Strategy (2020-2021) has allocated a huge amount of the KES 929.5 billion to schools.

The government shall provide facemasks, soap, and sanitizers to learners for KES 2.1 Billion as a relief to parents.

Education CS George Magoha previously revealed that the government would supply two facemasks with only a few schools getting the facemasks.

A total of KES 500 million will be used to provide facemasks, soaps, and sanitizers in primary schools in 2020, with KES 600 million allocated for 2021.

To comply with the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health on social distancing, the Government has set aside KES 28.8 Billion to construct classrooms and refurbish previous ones in order to expand the space for learning.

Secondary schools will use KES 2.5 Billion to build tuition blocks in the next two years.

A total of 4,838 sanitation facilities, 6352 classes, and 4,366 laboratories will be built using KES 20.1 Billion.

Primary schools, on the other hand, shall receive KES 1.2 billion to construct classrooms and refurbish their ablution blocks.

Sanitation and water have been revamped in schools with KES 5 Billion set aside to curb the possible spread of the coronavirus pandemic by improving hygiene.

The government has set aside Ksh. 10 billion to recruit more Secondary and Primary school teachers in the next two years.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has since announced 6,674 vacancies for tutor interns in Primary and Secondary Schools.

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