Don't open schools yet, plead Garissa parents - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 5 October 2020

Don't open schools yet, plead Garissa parents


Parents from Garissa want the Education ministry to shelve plans to reopen schools this year because the country has not been declared coronavirus-free.

Talking to the press in Garissa town yesterday, Mohamed Yussuf urged Education CS Prof George Magoha to resist pressure to reopen schools.

"We are not ready to gamble with the lives of our children because of a few greedy private school owners, who want to salvage their business empires in total disregard of the health of our children," he said.

"We shall challenge in court any attempt to reopen schools anytime this year."

Yussuf praised President Uhuru Kenyatta's speech on Monday, where he was of the view that it was not worth the risk to reopen schools.

“I really don’t think our schools, especially the public, can implement the required steps to enforce health protocols,” he said.

Fatuma Hussein said Kenya should learn from countries that rushed into reopening their schools only to shut them down after a second wave.

“What is this hurry by Maghoa and his team? Parents and other stakeholders should have a say on when schools should be reopened. After all, the Ministry of Health has not okayed the same,” Fatuma said.

A task-force on the response to Covid-19 had proposed reopening in October, but the Education ministry acknowledged social distancing would be a problem.

On Tuesday, however, Magoha told a parliamentary committee that ‘it is time to reopen all schools in the country’ and that they are prioritising students in Class 8 and Form 4 in the second phase of schools reopening to be announced soon.

The CS cited Zambia and Angola, which have allowed their students back after the pandemic, adding the Covid-19 situation ‘may not change in the near future’.

Magoha said social distancing will be a tall order but expressed confidence that with other mitigation efforts, such as face masks and handwashing, will keep the students safe in schools.

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