Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha received the final report and recommendations from the committee that was formed to advise him on how schools are to be safely reopened. The report by the national covid 19 education response committee was presented to him on Friday and will form the basis of the ministry’s next course of action. Here is what CS Magoha had to say;
“In his address during the Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2020, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Education to fast track the ongoing consultations with education stakeholders to provide appropriate school calendar for the gradual resumption of learning.
As you are aware, the Ministry of Education appointed the COVID-19 National Education Response Committee on May 12, 2020 to advise the Cabinet Secretary on the measures to be taken to ensure a return to normality in the basic education sector in the Coronavirus era.
On May 29, 2020, the Committee presented a preliminary report to the Cabinet Secretary for initial feedback as the team continued with further consultations.
The Ministry is today happy to receive the final report, which has credible proposals on the way forward in seeking a resumption of learning, whenever it is considered appropriate as guided by the Ministry of Health and other arms of Government.
We wish to note that the Ministry will take seriously the recommendations of this Committee and use them to step up further dialogue with all other stakeholders within and without Government to ensure appropriate and decisive measures are put in place to facilitate resumption of learning.
The Government, in consultation with development partners, is putting in place mitigation measures in all schools to prevent COVID-19 from penetration to the learning institutions.
We assure the public that the Government will provide further direction this weekend regarding the extended closure of schools, given that some of main COVID-19 restrictions are set to expire.
Further, the Ministry will review the report before advising the country on the steps to be taken regarding the academic calendar, and the level of preparedness that will be required of all stakeholders involved in the running of ECD centres, primary and secondary schools, and teacher training institutions. It should be instructive that all decisions will be made based on data and evidence provided by the Ministry of Health.
On a sad not, the Ministry has noted that some parents, guardians and care givers are not providing sufficient care of their children while at home. For instance, we have received reports that four of Form One girls have become pregnant since the schools were closed in March, 2020.
Additionally, you may have noted that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations has sent out a cautionary statement warning of internet child abusers who have started luring children into all manner of cyberspace offenses after invading their digital learning classes.
The Ministry wishes to urge parents, guardians and caregivers to firmly take charge of the custody of their children while at home and protect them from sexual and drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, female genital cutting and child labour. It is necessary to guarantee the safety and health of children while at home. All offenses against learners must be reported to the National Government Administration Officers and Directorate of Criminal Investigations as directed.
Through the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development, the Ministry has extended lessons provided through the broadcast, online and digital learning until such time that schools are reopened.”
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