George Magoha:Students might learn in shifts should schools reopen in September.

The cabinet secretary of Education Professor George Omore Magoha yesterday  said that students might take turns in learning should schools resume in September.

The ministry of education is contemplating having students attend schools in shifts in order to comply with health education guidelines on social distancin’g.

Candidate Classes

The CS said that if that is to happen,priority will be given to transition classes, and finalists or examination cohorts in schools, universities, teacher training colleges and TVET institutions.

According to the standard newspaper, in primary and secondary Schools, focus will be on Class Eight and Form Four candidates.

The transition of Grade Four pupils under the Competency-Based Curriculum is also critical as the government is expected to implement a national roll-out of the new system to Grade Five next year.

Professor Magoha is still studying a number of scenarios presented to him in case schools reopen come September.

These proposals were made by the Covid-19 Education Response Committee set up by the CS to advise him on the reopening of all basic learning institutions and tertiary institutions.

The CS added that the decisions to have learning institutions open in September have not been fully reached and can change anytime.

Amon’g the factors that might lead to the change include increased knowledge of the Corona virus and the prevailing circumstances within the country.

Proposals on table
One option is to have a section of learners attend school in the mornin’g and others in the afternoon.

Next is to have a section attend school for a week or month then the others to do the same in an alternate fashion.

Still,the CS is contemplating having various classes spread accross two or three days of the week.

For example,the candidate class could attend school from Monday to Wednesday then the rest comes in from Thursday while the former group stays back.

To equalise the number of days attended,a group that attended school for three days the previous week would go for two days the following week.

The sequence would continue throughout the term.

According to sources ,conversant with the modalities, the latter proposal would be ideal as far as equal provision of education is concerned.

The candidate classes will have ample time preparing for final examinations while at the same the other groups continue to learn without being left behind.

In another proposal,a section of learners are to attend school for one term as the others stay back at home in alternating fashion.

This however was rejected. Experts Said that the period that has been taken by students at home is enough and it would be unwise to extend it further when schools finnaly resume.

The CS  assured all stake holders that necessary measures are taken to ensure that right decisions regarding school reopening are taken.

He added that several measures are to be  considered after consulting with relevant stake holders.

Some of the measures includes:
Having fewer learners at schools to reduce contact in order to avoid any deaths that might occur as a result of reopening.

Teacher’s Roles

Teachers to implement social distancing rules, handwashing with soap, use of hand sanitisers, wearing of masks or face shields, and monitoring temperatures to reduce the risk of infection.

Some teachers who spoke said that to have all these measures implemented then it’s wise to have staff number boosted.

They argued that as may be the case with learners,teachers who are on duty this week may also alternate with a different group the following week.

With all these proposals,the question therefore becomes,how possible will their implementation be in boarding schools??

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