CS Magoha: Schools reopening to be dictated by Covid-19 status
Education stakeholders met on Friday to brainstorm about the reopening of learning institutions in September.
But Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha stressed that the reopening will largely be dictated by the prevailing Covid-19 status, and that it would be impossible to continue with the plan if cases will still be high.
He added that they will strongly rely on the advice of the Health ministry on reopening of the institutions.
“As a physician, I will tell you according to my training, we should open after we have reached the peak and stabilised and started coming down for 14 days continuously,” he said. "There is no country in the world that has dared to reopen when the Covid-19 infections were still rising.”
The CS said achieving physical and social distancing in the institutions remains the elephant in the room in ongoing consultations and various options have been considered, without a solid strategy yet.
“The unfortunate thing is Covid-19 is still increasing since March 15 when all education institutions were closed. But government is going to work as if we are going to open on September 1,” he stated.
However, Technical and Vocational Training Education Institutions (TVETs) stand a higher chance of reopening in shifts as opposed to primary and secondary schools, the CS said, citing infrastructural challenges and the congestion problem in the later.
“The TVET institutions as we have looked at them have a much better chance of survival in terms of getting social distancing. Like universities, they offer various courses and can adjust their programmes and open in shifts much more easily than the primary and secondary schools,” he said at the Kisumu National Polytechnic where he met TVET principals from the Western region.
“It’s easier said in TVETs and universities because they have the capacity to decide which aspects to open so that they can achieve social distancing. but how do you do that in primary school?” he posed at a press briefing following the meeting.
Source: Daily Nation