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President Uhuru to Lead Discussions on Reopening of Schools

A crucial meeting with President Uhuru that will take place tomorrow will decide the fate of full reopening of schools according to Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha.

After that meeting, great minds from the Ministries of Health, Education, and Interior together with other stakeholders will discuss further the full reopening of schools. Thereafter, the government will inform Kenyans when the rest of the learners will be back in schools.

“We will conduct a meeting on November 4 (Wednesday) with the President and other stakeholders. After that we will have an internal meeting,” said Prof George Magoha yesterday while he checked on the progress of desks delivery at Mukuru Primary School in Nairobi.

“We want to make sure that the right decision is made and that we open schools at the right moment,” added CS Magoha.

Magoha also brushed away the closing of schools for learners in Grade 4, Class 8, and Form 4 who resumed classes on October 12 even though COVID-19 cases have been on the rise.

Schools have stayed open despite the government being aware of COVID-19 cases in schools. Mr. Khamis of Tononoka Secondary School died laid to rest on Monday. Besides, dozens of students, teachers, and workers in 35 at least 35 schools are already infected with COVID-19.

Concerns over Safety Measures

Parents have complained that schools are not ready to keep and protect students from COVID-19. However, according to the CS, all schools have adhered to the provided guidelines except for one school.

Just like Unicef and WHO, Prof Magoha agreed that schools provide a better environment than homes because learners and teachers have adhered to the provided COVID-19 containment measures.

The current surge of COVID-19 infections has raised concerns as President Uhuru is mulling over whether to impose another set of restrictions on movement to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

“If you look at children in schools, they are wearing masks. Outside schools, many people are not taking the precautions,” said CS Magoha.

The acting Health Director-General Patrick Amoth has already said that recent studies indicate that children between the age of 10 and 19 years show mild symptoms of COVID-19 and less likely to transmit the virus.

“COVID here is like a marathon. It will stay with us. Are you saying that if COVID-19 will be with us for five years we will not take our children to school? We need to put measures in place to ensure children are safe in schools when they resume learning,” said Dr. Amoth to the media.

Parents Association national Chairperson Nicholas Maiyo said that they will weigh the good and the bad of allowing learners back to school.

He said COVID-19 has spread to every part of the country but added that children can still contract the virus from other places as well.

“Corona is everywhere. If we open schools, what will be important is the measures we put in place to protect our children. If we feel it is safe, why not?

Prof George Magoha warned that a certain school he did not name allowed learners in Grades 1, 2, and 3 should send learners home by the end of the day (yesterday). The CS also said that all schools will receive desks and added that most of the schools have already gotten their desks.

“Suppliers will be paid via MPESA. A number of artisans we have seen have not delivered desks,” added CS Magoha, saying that some suppliers want the government to pay them, yet they have not supplied desks.

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