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Schools Still Reopening On Monday, October 12, 2020, despite Pending Court Order

It is becoming increasingly obvious that schools are still reopening on Monday even though a court order suspended reopening of schools until the Ministry of Education has done consultations with stakeholders. Therefore, the Ministry of Education will proceed with the phased reopening of all institutions of basic education.

High Court Judge James Maku issued the order on Wednesday after a parent had applied to claim that Professor George Magoha, the Cabinet Secretary for the Education Ministry, had announced the reopening of schools without providing proper guidelines on how pupils and students will have protection from COVID-19

“The Cabinet Secretary of Education or his representatives should sit down with all parties in the education sector and reach a settlement as soon as possible regarding the reopening of schools,” read Justice Makau’s ruling.

Justice Makau gave CS Magoha three days, that is before the 14th of October 2020, to come up with a report.

Despite this, schools will indeed reopen tomorrow on Monday 12th of October 2020. The first group of students who have been recalled to schools by the Ministry of Education entails pupils in Grade 4 and Class Eight together with candidate students who are currently in form four.

Students and pupils alike will sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations starting from March next year (2021). KCPE candidates will sit for their exams from March 22nd, 2021, and finish their exams within three days, on March 24th, 2021. Form Fours, on the other hand, will begin their KCSE examinations on 25th March 2021 and complete them on 16th April 2021, a duration that is roughly three weeks.

KNEC to Assess All Primary School Pupils

The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) shall conduct school-based learning assessments in all primary schools countrywide a week after schools have reopened. KNEC will assess all primary school pupils from Grade 1 to Standard 8.

“The main aim of the assessments is to check if there is any loss in learning during the COVID-19 pandemic period since schools were closed in March. Besides, the assessment will help in suggesting interventions that schools will put in place to address the gap in learning,” Mercy Karogo, KNEC CEO said via a circular.

Class 8 and Grade 4 assessment will run from 19th to 23rd October 2020, while pupils in the other classes will do their assessments after they have reopened. For grades 1, 2, and 3, and classes 5, 6, and 7, their reopening dates are yet to be decided.

Parents Spotted Shopping

The Teacher.co.ke media team spotted parents doing shopping for their children with schools reopening on Monday.

For instance, on Saturday some shopping centers in Kisii and Kisumu hosted parents purchasing ‘back-to-school’ items for their beloved children.

“The government should have given us more time to prepare for the reopening of schools but I have come here today at Tuskys to buy some items for my son because I do not have a choice,” said Mary, a parent with a Form 4 candidate at Kisii School.

Some schools have informed parents that they will not accept children without masks that have school labels and have even instructed parents to go to specific shops.

High levels of hygiene is also a requirement once students report to schools. Besides, students will also have to wear facemasks, wash their hands, and be innovative in their approaches to maintain guidelines on physical or social distancing.

Free Education Funds released to schools

On Friday 8th October 2020 the government released Kshs. 14.5 Billion to public schools for the free basic education program.

Schools are required to make good use of these funds and prepare for safe reopening.

“Secondary schools have been sent Kshs 13.2 Billion under the Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) while Primary schools have also been sent Kshs 1.2 Billion under the Free Primary Education Programs,” said Belio Kipsang.

The second term will start tomorrow and run for 11 weeks. There will be a one-week break in December and then students will resume learning in January 2020.

Revised 2020 School Calendar for Examination Candidates and Grade 4 Learners

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