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Magoha: Universities ready to reopen but waiting for Uhuru’s nod

Following the closure of all learning institutions in March in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, all learners have been stuck at home. However, following the reduction of new COVID-19 infections the government has since relaxed its opinion of not reopening schools until January 2021. Medical students have since been allowed back in class and now students from other programmes are set to follow suit shortly, or so it seems.

On Wednesday, September 9, 2020, CS Magoha made remarks on the reopening of universities for students of other programmes at Pwani University. He visited the university to evaluate how the institution is prepared amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During the visit to Coast, the CS accused the media of misquoting him on the date of reopening of schools. He claimed that the media have been making him look like a fool to Kenyans.

“I will not, and shall not say anything in this regard concerning the reopening of schools in Kenya. The Fourth Estate (the media) has kept religiously writing what I have not said,” he said.

“You journalists keep on asking the same question and then you go and portray my responses in a different manner,” added the CS of education, Prof George Magoha.

According to the CS, the government’s stance concerning the date reopening of schools has not changed. It remains to be January 2021.

“Our position has not changed. However, we may consider the issue depending on the behavior of COVID-19,” he said.

CS Magoha also said that the government has set aside Kshs. 1.9 million for new desks to be made in order to facilitate physical distancing when formal learning restarts.

According to Magoha, the government has come up with a prototype of desks that will be used in schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Magoha said that he had instructed all county commissioners to come to Nairobi, take a design of the prototype back to their respective counties, and then ensure the design is replicated.

The Prototype to be replicated to make desks that will help with social distancing in schools/ Photo Courtesy

The remarks of the CS comes like a fortnight or so since he said that the reopening of schools was not done and dusted and will depend on how the curve of COVID-19 behaves. He had promised that if the curve flattens, then schools would eventually reopen.

Prof George Magoha also implored parents to prepare for the reopening of schools earlier than initially planned if the COVID-19 infection keeps falling.

Prior to that, he had said that only President Uhuru Kenyatta could decide when schools would reopen after being satisfied with how schools are prepared amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

On the extent of how schools are prepared, the CS criticized the preparedness of technical and vocational Training Institutes for not using skills taught in those institutes to equip themselves

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