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Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha/FILE/PSCU

Corona Virus

September school reopening unsettled amid virus surge

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha says the schools might not re-open in September as earlier announced if the number of COVID-19 infections in the country continues to rise.

The CS told the Senate Ad hoc team on COVID-19 on Thursday the government is currently monitoring and weighing out options whether it will be possible to allow learners to resume.

On the pending KCSE and KCPE examinations, the CS said the national exams will be administered between September and April.

Prof Magoha said it would not be feasible to do the exams beyond April 2021, indicating the exams could be deferred to November 2021 if the situation does not allow examiners to administer them by April.

“I think in two weeks we should be able to know whether if we open in September we can do exams sometimes in April next year. But being a physician, I can say that without a few of contradiction, that at this stage our numbers are going up and that we are most likely to have a peak around September –October and if we do so then all of us will decide together whether it is safe enough to open schools for our children,” he said

Senators led by the Committee Chairman and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja advised the ministry to consider writing off the current academic year in light of COVID-19 disruptions.

“Won’t it be more practical, because I know we have to keep giving home, instead of kicking the can down the road especially because of our candidate to some extent just rule out this year,” Sakaja asked.

“We are arguing whether it is rational to sanitize the children who are below six year and whether it is right to mask the children who are below six. So all these , are things in progress and Honourable Senators if you want definitive answers that may not come for another four weeks,” Prof. Magoha stated.

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In March, the government closed all schools in a bid to avert the unrestrained spread of COVID-19.

Kenya has so far reported 4,044 cases of the coronavirus, 107 fatalities and 1,353 recoveries since March 13, when the first local case was announced. 

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