NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3- With the full-scale reopening of all learning institutions set for Monday, the government said there will be no extracurricular activities involving more than one school.
The temporary ban that will last 90 days was announced Sunday by President Uhuru Kenyatta who issued an Executive Order suspending sports, music, drama, prize-giving events among others.
“All extra-curricula activities and all exchange visits between schools shall remain prohibited for the same period,” he said and directed school principals to maintain a register of all sick students and teachers and immediately inform the County Health Department of all instances of moderate to severe illness.
President Kenyatta also directed County Health Departments to carry out routine surveillance for COVID-19 and other public health challenges in all schools including random sampling of pupils, teachers, and support staff.
As schools re-open, all teachers and learners will be required to wear “appropriate facemasks when on the school premises or within the school transport, in addition to applying hand-hygiene and physical spacing.
Schools in Kenya were closed in March 2020 when the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the country but they were reopened partially in October 2020 for Form 4, Class 8 candidates and Grade 4.
An academic calendar issued by the Ministry of Education shows that Pre-Primary 1 and 2; Grade 1, 2 and 3; Class 5, 6 and 7; and Form 1, 2 and 3 learners will start their Term 2 on 4th January, 2021 and end on 19th March 2021 together with the Grade 4 and candidate classes (Class 8 and Form 4) who opened last year in October.
All other learners except Class 8 and Form 4 candidates due for Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) assessments will proceed for a 7-week holiday to allow for KCPE and KCSE examinations administration and marking.
“Grade 4 and incoming Form 1 (Class 8 graduates) learners will stay at home as other learners complete their Term 3,” a statement issued by the education ministry further indicated.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said 4-year-olds due to join pre-primary will do so in July. Grade 4 learners will also transition to Grade 5 in July.
He declared that no student will be allowed back to school without a mask and those on boarding schools were urged to have enough masks that would last them for the whole term.
Magoha has warned schools against sending learners away due to lack of fees.