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Opinion: Should we keep schools closed?

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education Prof George Magoha has never indicated when schools are to reopen. Since schools were closed in March, there have been a series of events or rather speeches from the CS that have always served to add even more confusion to the already uncertain situation.

Schools heads were called back to schools to oversee preparations for reopening with teachers following suit days later. Teachers met in schools on Monday 28, 2020, and strategized on how to receive students in schools, when they will be allowed to report to schools.

Breakdown of events


On July 7, CS Magoha said that 2020 is a lost year due to the situation with the global coronavirus pandemic. He said reopening will only happen in January 2021 and that schools are to remain closed until then.


By the tenth day of September, the CS said that they “shall relook, depending on the behavior of COVID-19”. A week later on September 17, a proposal on reopening in November was also bundled about and as you can guess, the suggestion was not definitive. CS Magoha rebuffed this suggestion but said that there could be consideration of options as the curve of infection appeared to be flattening. In fact, he even said that flattening of the curve was actually “very good news for all of us”.

“We have sanctioned experts to go and work on a new timetable, which I do not know myself,” said CS Magoha

By the time we got to September 21, teachers were directed to go back to school and prepare for reopening, though Prof Magoha insisted the Ministry itself had not said that schools were reopening.

There were suggestions that the Teachers Service Commission only recalled teachers in order to avoid conflict with a “world banking” body as teachers cannot be out of work for a period of more than six months and still be paid. Going by this theory of teachers going back to schools, then it was just a plot to exploit a loophole in agreement with the “world banking” body.

Therefore, in this scenario, the government will open secondary and primary schools in January 2021. Colleges and universities on the other hand will begin phased reopening as from tomorrow.

The return of teachers to schools obviously meant there was going to be a sense of optimism among both students and parents concerning reopening. This was also the reason parents waited for President Uhuru’s speech, anxiously hoping for a definitive conclusion to all the flip-flopping by the Ministry of Education.

President Kenyatta, however, added salt to water on the reopening situation as he said that efforts had to be made regarding “how” schools are to reopen rather than “when”.

A couple of days later CS Magoha told Members of Parliament that the decision to reopen will be made by everybody. He mentioned the MPs, the President, himself, and stakeholders as the “everybody”. Besides, he said that it was “about time” schools reopened since most of our neighboring countries have either not closed schools or reopened then some weeks ago.

“We are the only red on the map and we are not animals. We are humans,” he said.


It is October, and yet parents and students alike have no clue when schools will be reopened. The “how” to reopen going on might not paper over all cracks as far as protecting learners from COVID-19. Whether the government reopens schools or not learners are better served being in schools with new records having been set months ago on Child pregnancies.

Access to food is a challenge especially in the case of those children coming from poor backgrounds who got most of their meals in schools. Now, only time will tell when schools will reopen as the Ministry of Education has flip-flopped all long.

1 Comment
  1. Noel John says

    I was suggesting that just like the college and university students, class 8 and form 4 students study online using laptops or phone for further education and for preparations for the KCPE and KCSE which I also think we can do next year January.

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