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Magoha: Journalists Barred From Schools To Curb Covid-19 And Exam Cheating

The Ministry of Education has directed that journalists are banned from visiting schools, saying that the directive is intended to curb cheating in examinations and preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof George Magoha said on Wednesday that with this being the third and final term for Standard 8 and Form Four candidates, no visitors shall be allowed in schools. The media in this case are not left out in the list of visitors.

“I want to persuade you, ladies and gentlemen, that you will most kindly keep away from schools. Not completely because I have a team that has the capacity to carry the media to schools so that they can be your chaperons,” said CS Magoha.

CS Magoha added, ”this is because the examination matter is a serious matter. Now that our children are going to sit for their examinations in less than eight weeks, no visitors shall be allowed in learning institutions.”

The CS was quick to point out that the Ministry was not hiding anything from the public, saying that when the officials of the Ministry visit schools, they always do so in the company of journalists.

“No one has singled out the media. Every time we go there we kindly ask the media to follow us. We are not going to hide anything,” said CS Magoha.

According to CS Magoha, the directive to bar visitors from schools was issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta and it has to be implemented by both the Ministry and school administrators.

On Sunday, President Kenyatta gave an executive order to bang all non-essential visits to schools by parents and guardians. However, parents and guardians will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.

“For parents who will visit the schools, they will be required to be recorded and subjected to all infection prevention protocols,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta.

On Wednesday, Prof Magoha said that journalists are part of visitors and can only be allowed unless invited by the Ministry.

“When it comes to trust, I do not trust everyone, the media included. This also being the term of examination, no one will be allowed in schools,” said Prof Magoha.

Prof Magoha said the“no visitors” policy during the national examination term is a directive that has been there before – five years ago to be specific when it was implemented to stop cheating in schools.

The CS added that under the COVID-19 health protocols, schools have to keep children safe and that allowing visitors may cause a spread of the virus in children who go to school.

“Keep away from schools for the sake of our children’s safety,” Prof George Magoha told journalists in Nairobi today.

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