The Ministry of Education officials have now requested their Health colleagues to vacate and fumigate public schools that were used as quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients ahead of planning reopening of institutions.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, in a letter to Health PS Susan Mochache, said stakeholders had noted that the COVID-19 curve has been flattening hence decided to reopen learning institutions earlier than initially projected.
“Arising from the above, and aware that the public schools were used both as quarantine and isolation facilities, we are requesting that these schools are vacated and fumigated by September 28, 2020, to enable the heads of schools prepare them for eventual reopening,” said PS Kipsang.
This statement comes in time as the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) also issued new arrangements.
Teachers are expected to make a decision when they report back to school on September 28. They have also been instructed to develop innovative strategies designed to offer psycho social support to learners, parents and other stakeholders.
The commission has also directed teachers to ensure thorough cleaning of classrooms, offices, dormitories, and all school amenities so as to ensure they’re in habitable conditions for learners.
CEO Nancy Macharia, then urged teachers to prepare the curriculum, delivery materials including timetables, schemes of work, lesson plans and related activities.
Primary and secondary school teachers have been ordered to return to school by Monday next week in preparation for the eventual reopening of learning institutions which is due in a fortnight.
Speaking on September 21, 2020, after a stakeholders meeting at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to review the reopening plan, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha said it was time for children to resume school without giving the exact reopening date.
Sources within the meeting have however revealed that three dates have been suggested depending on how soon teachers will prepare the schools.
If within one week all is well, schools could reopen on October 4, 2020; if more preparations are needed then the opening dates will be pushed to October 12.The final date of reopening is set on October 19, 2020.
A report that is to be reviewed by another sub-Cabinet committee and whose outcome will be forwarded to the President who is set to address the nation within a week further recommends that, in the first phase of the reopening, 50 per cent of the students comprising Form Fours, Class Eight, Class Seven and Grade Four be admitted.
The situation is then expected to be monitored and loopholes sealed before the remaining students also resume classes a week or two later.
The period between October and December, the students will cover second term syllabus, then take a two-week Christmas break before resuming learning in January to conclude term three in April.
Candidates who were set to sit their exams this year will take it in April as sources said the government is keen on ensuring no one repeats classes.
After the candidates sit their exams, the New Year calendar will commence either in May or June, as such teachers have been called upon to help the learners recover lost time.
As for the universities and tertiary colleges, they were given the green light to open their doors, hence it will be up to the individual Senate councils to evaluate their preparedness and announce when learning can resume.