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School Calendar Conundrum As Virus Encroaches Schools

Coronavirus cases have begun rising among teachers and learners and this could derail plans of coming up with a back-to-school calendar even though the Ministry of Education insists that everything is okay.

A teacher died in Kiambu and two schools had to close in Mombasa, putting the government under more pressure to lay down measures to mitigate the impact of CODVI-19 in schools.

Chief Administrative Secretary for Education Zack Kinuthia said every school will be dealt with on an individual basis.

“The health of our children is the most important thing. We believe schools can control Grade 4, Class 8, and Form learners. The rest of the children may have to wait a little longer,” he said on Thursday.

The government closed the Star of the Sea and Tononoka High Schools in Mombasa on Monday when learners and teachers contracted coronavirus.

School operations suspended

“We have suspended school operations from today Monday, October 19, to allow for fumigation. Normal operations will start again on November 2nd, 2020,” reads notification to parents from the Star of the Sea High School administrators.

A senior teacher in one of the schools was among the infected cases while the other teachers are waiting for their test results.

“We were asked to be tested after one teacher was found to be having COVID-19. On Monday, some of the results came,” said a source at Star of the Sea to Nation Africa.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) said that most of the learners do not wear masks.

“We have to observe COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing, wearing of face masks, and washing hands. Teachers and learners have to stay protected,” KNUT National Executive Council member Dan Oloo said yesterday.

The KNUT branch secretary for Magarini and Malindi Fredrick Ngum said a day school in Kibokoni had reported two cases of COVID-19. Other samples are undergoing examined at Malindi Hospital.

One teacher at Mama Ngina Primary School in Kinoo, Kiambu County died of complications related to coronavirus.

“Around 50 people interacted with the teacher and we are tracing them,” Health executive Joseph Murega said on Thursday.

The principal of Lelmokwo High School, Titus Ng’etich refuted reports of any coronavirus case in the school.

“Our students and staff are COVID-free. We have not reported any cases, not even symptoms among members of the school community members since we reopened,” said Mr. Titus Ng’etich.

St. Peter’s Boys in Mumias also recorded a second COVID-19 case on Thursday.

These cases have led to speculation that the schools’ academic calendar for this year is in a difficult situation. However, we will know what the Ministry of Education will decide to do regarding the academic calendar in the coming days.

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