Learners brace for marathon as classes resume in January

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha

Learners will be forced to make do with shorter holidays and mid-term breaks in a new school calendar, which will see them cover three academic years between January 2021 and December 2022.

Instead of the traditional one-month break, learners will only take a week’s holiday while the week-long half-term break has been reduced to three days, according to the new school calendar released yesterday.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof.   George Magoha announced that all schools will reopen fully on January 4, 2021, which will also apply to all continuing Pre-Primary 1 and 2, Grades 1-3, Class 5, 6 and 7as well as Form 1, 2 and 3 learners.

“In compliance with the directive, the Ministry of Education has met with all stakeholders to deliberate on the current preparedness for full resumption of learning of all learners in all basic education learning institutions on January 4,” said Magoha after meeting education stakeholders at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development yesterday.

New term dates indicate that Pre-Primary 1 and 2, Grades 1-3, Class 5, 6 and 7 as well as Form 1, 2 and 3 learners will start their Term 2 on January 4 until March 19.

Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4, who are already in school, will also resume their third term on January 4.

Right trajectory

Magoha said all learners, except Class 8 and Form 4 candidates, will proceed for a seven-week holiday to allow Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations administration and marking. International schools will also reopen from January 4, for all learners still at home.

“I wish to assure the country that the government is determined to ensure a safe reopening and learning  in our schools. In doing so, we are drawing important lessons from the partial reopening that has taken place since October,” the CS assured.

He added: “We are confident that we will remain on the right trajectory to finding the winning formula that will ensure our learning institutions are safe for our learners and teachers.” 

Term three for Pre-Primary 1 and 2, Grades 1-3, Class 5, 6 and 7 as well as Form 1, 2 and 3 learners is set to run for 10 weeks, from May 10 to July16, next year.

They will take a three-day half term break from June 3-6 while their holiday is scheduled for July 17 -25.

For the 2021 school year, first term will start on May 26 up to October 1, a total period of 10 weeks while their half term will be on August 26-29.

Learners will then take a break for one week to resume their second term on October 11 up to December 12.

Next year’s Christmas break will run from December 24 to January 2, which will then be followed by a nine week- term 3 from January 3 to March 4.

The 2021 KCPE will be done between March 4  and 10, 2022 and KCSE will follow from March 11 to April  2022. KCSE marking will be between April 2–22.

Magoha said the 2022 school calendar will begin on April 4, 2022, with learners being in session from April 25 to July 1.

Second term will run from July 11 to September 16 while Term 3 has been set for September 26 to November 25, 2022.

KCPE for that year has been set for November 28 to December 1 while KCSE will be taken from December 1  to 23.

The CS said that the 2023 calendar will begin on January 23, 2023 and run for the usual 13 weeks up to April 21.

While half-term will still be for three days, the school holiday will be for two weeks, from April 22 to May 7.

Second term will then run from May 8 to August 11. And the third term will start on August 28 and end on November 3.

KCPE will be taken on November 6 – 9 while KCSE has been set for November 10 toDecember 1.

KCSE marking will last three weeks, from December 4 – 22.

The CS said as schools reopen, masks will be a constant for all learners and said the ministry has quite a number to be distributed to vulnerable learners once learning resumes.

On Saturday, the CS said a locally assembled project to enhance social distancing as a strategy of reducing Covid-19 transmission was well executed.

The CS said he tasked one of the units in the ministry to develop and cost a prototype but decried attempts to defraud the Government.

“WhenI did due diligence of establishing the market prices of the desks, I realised that the unit at the ministry had inflated the cost by Sh1,700, which means only 250,000 desks would have been supplied.

The ministry set the prices at Sh2,500 and Sh3,800 for primary and secondary school desks respectively,” Magoha stated.

Innovative approaches

He said the government will now be able to supply 622,157 locally assembled desks to 5,136 public primary schools (359,450 desks) and 5,243 public secondary schools (262,707 desks, lockers and chairs).

Teachers Service Commission Secretary, Nancy Macharia who was also present in yesterday’s meeting urged teachers to employ innovative approaches to ensure full syllabus coverage, given the fact that school terms have been adjusted to ensure the curriculum is covered before exams.

“We assure the public that as we embark on preparations for the national exams, teachers are ready to perform their duties as centre managers, supervisors and invigilators. 

TSC will work closely with the examination council for the success of this exercise,” she said.

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