Busy calendar as schools reopen for third term
Schools reopen today for third term to a different programme, owing to reorganisation of the academic calendar to cover for time lost last year.
In a normal school calendar, learners could be resuming for second term but the long break brought about by Covid-19 changed the system.
In this third term, there will be no Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams since Standard Eight learners have already sat their exams and are waiting to join Form One in July.
Similarly, Grade Four learners will remain at home as they wait to join Grade Five in July, when the 2021 calendar will officially start.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has warned schools, particularly private ones, against disregarding government directives and having Grade Four children back.
“Our Grade Four learners will remain home until July 26. Private school owners were represented in the education stakeholders’ meeting that drafted the new education calendar, so no child is special,” Magoha warned.
His remarks come against the backdrop of reports that some schools have sent fee guidelines and want Grade Four learners to report back this week.
“Go and create your country, your government and your education system. All public and private schools must adhere to the rules,” Magoha directed.
“Anybody who wants to bully parents to pay for Grade Four children to go to school, please stop and I urge parents not to pay anyone… if private schools dare to do so, ask yourself where you got your licence from because every Kenyan child is equal and must be treated equally,” he added.
Pre-Primary One and Two, Grades One to Three, Five to Seven as well as Forms One to Three are to report from today.
“We are to open for third term on May 10 as was decided by education stakeholders.
I want to be clear on classes to open, when the government pronounces itself and you think you want to create your own, then we will come on you like a tonne of bricks,” he warned.
He said President Uhuru Kenyatta was right when he dared to reopen schools in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We thank the President for having dared to reopen schools, imagine if he did not... we would have had no exams – and you can still hear noises here and there that we should wait.
As long as we follow the health protocols, the rest we leave to God,” said the CS.
To claw back the time lost, the CS said it means a lot of sacrifices have to be made for the sake of children.
Having completed KCPE and KCSE examination successfully, the CS said there is need to move with speed and start preparing for the next group of candidates since time is running out
“We are working on different times, this is your first sacrifice. There is another sacrifice coming soon because as soon as KCSE 2020 results are released, we will embark on the next 2021 examination and since this is already May, you can imagine how late we are,” he said.
Children are reporting back to a tight schedule to cover for lost time. Third term will run for 10 weeks and schools will be expected to cover as much syllabus as they can before learners can move to the next class.
According to the revised calendar, there will only be a three-day half term break that will run from June 3 – 7. Basic learning institutions will then break for holiday from July 17 – 25 and first term for 2021 will start on July 26 and end on October 1.
Second term will follow from October 11 to December 23 while third term will run from January 3 to March 4, 2022.
And as schools reopen, the CS has encouraged more teachers to take the Covid-19 vaccine, saying the government is seeking to have those ready to take it by end of next month.
There has been slow uptake of the vaccine among teachers, with only 41 per cent having received the jab.