Preparations for schools’ reopening are in top gear if the current circular by the Teachers Service Commission, TSC, is anything to go by. The teachers’ employer has asked school Heads and Principals to report to schools and lay ground for reopening.
“Monitoring on preparedness of school for reopening due to covid 19 pandemic is ongoing,” reads a circular by TSC to all principals and head teachers.
“All Principals and Head teachers are expected to be present in their institutions and work closely with BOMs (Boards of Management) in the establishment of all protocols required for reopening of schools,” adds the Commission in the circular dated September 7, 2020.
Schools will be required to ensure that guidelines given by the Ministry of Education to control spread of corona virus disease are adhered to. See the guidelines here; Reopening of schools- Education Ministry releases final reopening process.
The schools will be expected to form school reopening preparedness committees with immediate effect. Such committees will in turn convene urgent meetings to plan for school reopening. This will be done in collaboration with immediate school neighbors and other stake holders.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has given strong indications that schools may reopen in November. But, this will only happen if the infection curve continues to drop or flatten out. In his plan, that is yet to be made public, schools may have a phased reopening; by allowing form fours and class eight learners to reopen first.
A meeting of all stake holders, to chat the way forward, is scheduled for September 14, 2020.
SOME TVETs ARE READY FOR REOPENING
According to the CS, only three Technical and Vocational Colleges (Eldoret, Nyeri Polytechnic and Rift Valley Institute) were ready for reopening by close of last week.
An agitated Magoha blamed other institutions for exhibiting lukewarm preparations.
“About 50 per cent of the institutions are on a trajectory towards reopening. What has annoyed me is that this is the sixth week, yet we have to keep on saying the same things over and over. Once we are ready we will allow students to sit their exams,”the CS told the media last week.
FINAL YEAR MEDICAL STUDENTS ALLOWED BACK TO CLASS
Magoha has at the same time allowed final year medical students to resume physical classes. Via a circular sent to the nine universities that offer training in medicine, the CS more medical personnel were required to tackle the covid 19 pandemic and that this can be achieved by having the students graduating.
“In light of the Covid-19 situation which has precipitated an urgent need to train and assess medical students to support the dearth inadequate healthcare personnel to fight the pandemic, consideration has been given to the request for face-to-face learning and assessment of medical students. This is further informed by a physical inspection of facilities to ascertain the level of preparedness for the resumption of face-to-face learning.” Read the Circular, in part, by CS Magoha.
The circular goes on to instruct universities on what to do in case of an outbreak of covid 19 occurs.
“The University must manage any suspected Covid-19 cases affecting their students in their isolation and quarantine facilities awaiting results. The decision of home-based care or hospital management must be in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols,” adds the circular that was sent to the Universities on Monday.
The move by CS Magoha has stirred a storm. On Tuesday September 8, 2020, Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua criticized the decision by Education CS George Magoha to only reopen medical schools for face to face learning.
“If medical students can be recalled then all students can be recalled!” she demanded.