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Thursday, 18 June 2020

Schools reopening strictly depends on health safety - Magoha

Education CS George Magoha during Covid-19 press briefing at Afya House on March 13, 2020.
Reopening of schools will strictly depend on the health safety of teachers, learners and support staff, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has said.
He said the government will fumigate all schools before reopening, whether they were used as quarantine centres or not.
The CS will ensure fumigation is properly done and with the right materials and chemicals.
Speaking at Nakuru Girls High School after touring several schools in the county, Magoha said the ministry will ensure that the necessary measures of fighting further spread of Covid-19 were put in place.
He added that it was the duty of his team to properly advice the President on the issue of reopening schools to avoid a case where schools are opened only to be closed thereafter like has been the case in some countries.
The CS who was accompanied by his Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang and other to officers in the ministry, said the main challenge in reopening schools was the issue of social distancing and sanitization.
“The bottom line is, in order for the schools to reopen in September, the ministry has to be satisfied on the safety of the millions of learners and their teachers,” he said.
Magoha said several committees had been formed to tour schools and take stock of the requirements for different institutions and regions.
“The first thing we were checking is availability of water and I am happy to report that most of the schools have water storage thanks to the input of MPs through the National Government Constituency Development Fund,” he said.
For schools that do not have tap water supply or water storage facilities, the CS said the government will seek sustainable ways of providing the vital commodity including buying 10,000litre tanks.
“Different water shortage problems will have different solutions, in some cases, children might be required to carry water from home and in cases of acute shortage, the government will provide,” he said.
He added that in dire cases of water shortage, schools might be required to use sanitisers.
He said there will be no opportunity for cartels and intermediaries to mint money out of the pandemic by seeking ways to provide water, sanitizers and masks to the government.
He added that teachers would also need to be trained on Covid-19 response before  schools reopen.
He said the government had produced prototype masks which will be used for mass production for school going children.
Magoha said the committees were also taking stock of the number of pupils aged between six and 10 years and those who can use the standard size mask with a view of providing them.
Magoha revealed that the national examinations dates will roll over to next year in case the schools are opened in September.
“The examinations will have to take place in between February and March and not after May because the children will need to transition,” he said
He said the committees which include stakeholders are also looking into the issue of pre-primary one and two children who are medically not required to wear mask.

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