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Kenya’s Ministry of Education on Tuesday declared that its 2020 school calender was considered lost because of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
As a result, all primary and secondary pupils would return to class in January 2021.
Education Minister Prof. George Magoha said in a statement that the curve of Covid-19 infections was expected to flatten by December.
“Stakeholders have shelved the initial proposal to reopen schools in September for Standard Eight and Form Four candidates,” said Magoha.
All students and pupils will be required to repeat their current classes “the 2020 school calendar year will be considered lost due to Covid-19 restrictions”, he said.
According to the ministry, this decision will affect 752,836 candidates who were to seat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) against the candidature of 1,191,326 in Standard Eight.
However, he added that the decision will be reviewed if the daily count of Covid-19 cases reduces within 14 days.
“To ensure learners are engaged, the Ministry of Education will enhance remote learning (online, distance and e-learning) and explore innovative approaches to promote equity,” he says.
The president said the 9pm to 4am curfew will remain in place.
“Faced with this uncertain environment, the stakeholders have resolved to reopen all basic education learning institutions in January 2021,” said Magoha. “This is based on the assumption that the infection curve will have flattened by December 2020.”
On the other hand, Teacher Training Colleges and TVET institutions will be allowed to reopen from September 2020 subject to strict adherence to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 protocols.
In addition, the reopening of universities for face-to-face sessions will be on a case-by-case basis based on approved compliance with the Ministry of Health COVID-19 protocols.
“Universities should consider phased reopening to achieve physical and social distancing, especially in halls of residence, lecture rooms and dining halls. All institutions allowed to reopen must comply with COVID-19 regulations or risk closure,” Prof Magoha warned.
Schools in Kenya were ordered closed on March 15, by President Uhuru Kenyatta.