Experts have ruled out possibilities of openin’g schools this year citin’g challenges in enforcing social distancin’g in the many Schools with a total of 14 million learners.
Accordin’g to the standard, they said that leaners’ lives could be exposed to risk should schools reopen before the Corona virus infections curve is flattened.
These were discused durin’g a top profile meeting that was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In a reminder Mr. Kenyatta told the members that in the 1982 attempted coup, learning was suspended untill the following year hence this will not be the first time learning schedule is bein’g interrupted in Kenya.
Challenges implementin’g social distance.
in his address , education cabinet secretary Professor George Magoha said the government may be reluctant to open schools due to inadequate facilities.
He said this may make it hard to implement social distancin’g when schools are re-opened.
“I will advise not to open schools when the infections from the disease are rising. We propose that school clusters be attached to a health facility before we can open,” Magoha said.
He invoked his medical side by saying,
“When a child has fever what do you do to avoid panic in the school? Do you shut down the school and send all pupils home? Pupils may have fever from other ailments, not necessarily from Covid-19.”
The option that emerged therefore was only for the candidate classes (Class eight and form four) to go back for their national examinations while their counterparts in the juniour classes remain at home.
The deputy president Dr. Ruto who followed the meeting from his karen office said that the ministry should consider having only the candidate classes going back to write their exams . He insinuated that others should stay longer at home till a vaccine is found.
Professor Magoha added that should schools open, learners will not share equipment such as books and masks as a precautionary measure.
To ensure hygiene,schools will have to be regularly fumigated and cleaned with a constant water supply.
On July 6, citizens’ eyes will all be cast on the president in the much anticipated address to the Nation.
The technical teams looking at different sectors have upto 5th of next month to submit the mordalities of reopening the economy,based on the irreducible minimums given in the last address.
According to sources ,traveling between counties might be allowed although the curfew may continue for another one month.
As the president put it, reopenin’g different sectors will be dependent on how prepared the counties are,to deal with emerging infections.
“County readiness to respond to new imported cases of infection will largely determine our national readiness to re-open the country as a whole. I say this because the nation is the sum total of all the 47 counties. If the counties have met the necessary thresholds, then the nation will be ready to re-open,”
Uhuru told the meeting of the national and county governments coordinating summit. In attendance were also religious leaders.
“There are things which cannot wait. We have churches, mosques and temples waiting to reopen for prayers, but we must develop and agree on the protocols for each sector,” Ruto said.
Mandera governor ,Ali Roba said that the testing capacity of counties should be increased and vulnarable groups supported.
Kakamega governor , Wycliffe Oparanya said that 12 counties had met the 300 isolation beds threshold per county, while 34 devolved units were on course to meet the target within the month.
The universities may open but with strict measures for example ,screening before lectures ,wearing of masks among other measures.
In conclusion,the president said that ,
“We shall facilitate phased reopening of the economy but 34 counties that have isolation bed shortfalls must be ready within 11 days.”