Education cabinet secretary Professor George Magoha has hinted that tertiary learnin’g institutions could be opened before primary and Secondary.
Accordin’g to The Daily Nation, while in Kisumu on Friday ,the CS reiterated that Scarcity of infrastructural resources as well as congestion in primary and high schools pose a major challenge in their reopenin’g.
Universities ,TVET’s and colleges
He said that having looked at the tertiary institutions,chances are high that they will easily adhere to covid-19 guidelines compared to their counterparts in primary and high schools.
He gave an example of universities that offers various courses and can swiftly adjust their programmes therefore ease of opening in shifts.
Professor Magoha was talking when he met the principals of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) from Western Kenya.
Having been assured by TVET’s Principal Secretary Julius Juan that the institutions could make their own masks,the CS said that Mask production was nolonger a hurdle.
He however expressed alarm by the rate at which covid 19 cases keep soarin’g in Kenya.
“The unfortunate thing is Covid-19 is still increasing… But government is going to work as if we are going to open on September 1,” Prof Magoha said.
Re-opening depend on Covid-19 situation.
Professor Magoha further said that reopening schools is largely dependent on the Corona virus situation in the country.
He added that if cases remain high ,then it is unlikely that the ministry will continue with the plan to reopen schools in September 1.
He continued to say that they are so much reliant on advice from health ministry on reopenin’g 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.”
On Wednesday, Magoha said that they had been adviced by health ministry to have a class contain at most 20 learners.
To address scarcity of classes and other infrastructural resources,he said that they had been adviced that tents be erected.
These were in response to earlier concerns raised by parents ,citin’g lack of preparedness.
Magoha added that it is only after the tertiary learnin’g institutions are certified by a government-approved medic that they will be opened.
“The challenge would be in boarding facilities in terms of bed capacity,” he said.
The TVET boss Dr. Juan said that should the institutions be reopenned,then they are going to be key players in production of items ideal for fightin’g covid-19.
He gave examples of Eldoret polytechnic that had donated about 240 medical beds to Uasin Gishu county and Kisumu National Polytechnic that is currently working on solar-powered hand washin’g machines.
Doublin’g infrastructure impossible.
Professor Magoha added that they have been contemplating increasing facilities in Primary and secondary Schools but said that would be unrealistic since it has taken the government several years to have in place those few.
“It will be most unreasonable to expect government to double or triple the facilities in learning institutions, because it has taken years to build what is there.”
On readmitting learners in shifts,the CS stated that would only be possible for lower primary.
Professor Magoha also stated that TVETs will be inspected to ensure compliance with Covid-19 guidelines ,after which the examinations that were disrupted could be allowed to resume.
For Kenya National Union of Teachers’ (KNUT) proporsal to do away with delocalisation,he dismissed it termin’g it petty politics that do not deserve his attention.