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Reopening Of Schools Will Only Be Postponed On These Grounds

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The Cabinet Secretaries for Education and Health Ministries have announced conditions that could lead to the postponement of the reopening of schools on the 10th of May 2021.

While appearing on an aired interview on Citizen TV on the 26th of April 2021, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that analysis of the COVID-19 positivity rate was ongoing to determine among other things the reopening of schools.

The CS also said that they were doing an evaluation of the trajectory of the cases recorded daily as well as tracking another strain of the coronavirus, the double mutant variant that has rocked India in recent times. After the evaluation, it is believed that a well-informed decision will be made regarding the reopening of schools.

The CS said that the government has to be assured that parents and students will be safe. Mutahi Kagwe noted that there are children or rather learners who come from “disease zones’. This comprises the five counties that President Uhuru marked as disease-infested areas among them Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos, and Kajiado counties.

The lockdown and cessation of movement are set to expire as scheduled on the 29th of May 2021. This will be 19 days after the date schools are scheduled to reopen.

“If the positivity rate rises and parents and students are put at risk, then we will be forced to postpone the reopening of schools. There is no way we are going to risk the lives of our children at one time.

“The reopening of schools is a particular concern and we are going to keep an eye on any developments. In the meeting we had, we were briefed well by CS Magoha. We are confident that the Ministry of Education is taking sufficient steps at the moment and facing the pandemic in a better manner,” Kagwe said of CS Magoha’s Ministry.

CS Kagwe then proceeded to assure parents that the government is addressing the crisis in schools and said that vaccination of teachers would reduce the spread of the virus in learning institutions.

“The main threat when it comes to schools is not the students. The challenge is the school workers and teachers. We have carried out vaccination on teachers and we are confident that we can still man the pandemic.

“It is a fluid situation and decisions will be made as we watch them and evolve them,” Kagwe said.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha directed all learners and parents to prepare for the reopening of schools but did not fully commit to the date of reopening. The CS announced that face-to-face learning would probably resume on the 10th of May 2021.

“The time remains as we had decided earlier in the year and by the grace of God, children will come to school at the time we said they should come to school,” said CS Magoha.

Kagwe confirmed that the rate of new infections (positivity rate) was declining after the cessation of movement and lockdown the His Excellency President Uhuru imposed.

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