Third Eye

Share info on school reopening promptly

Thursday, August 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Education CS George Magoha. Photo/PD/File

The Education Ministry has declared that learning at all levels will resume in January when the coronavirus pandemic is expected to have eased. 

The declaration overrides an earlier announcement that universities and other tertiary institutions would reopen in September when the Covid-19 curve would have flattened.

Whereas parents across the country roundly welcomed Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha decision to keep children at home until the threat caused by the virus dissipates, not much has come from the ministry in terms of preparations for reopening.

Granted, a document from the ministry outlining the kind of changes required before schools can resume learning came to public attention some time back. 

However, nothing else has been said about the envisaged infrastractural alterations in learning institutions and other set-ups.

Indeed, there is a general feeling that since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March, the ministry has been rather reluctant to share information.

Yet that information is what every stakeholder in the crucial sector is hankering for.

Details such as the size of classrooms and dormitories in boarding schools and the population they hold are as essential as the number of teachers and lessons taken per day, just as the financial implications of the changes to parents and guardians.

This is important, if only to avoid a situation where stakeholders are treated to ad hoc decisions and decrees that have in the past left parents frustrated.

Another issue that requires explanation is why university students who had only one semester — or even less — remaining to complete their courses must stay at home until January. 

Surely, isn’t it possible to arrange for such groups to complete their studies and sit their exams in an environment that is fully compliant with the anti-coronavirus health guidelines?

Does it make sense to apply the guidelines set for primary schools in the universities? Aren’t the higher institutions supposed to help government come up with innovative ways of fighting the virus and ensuring minimum disruption?

Be it as it may, Magoha and his courtiers at Jogoo House owe it to Kenyans to regularly update them on how they are planning to restart learning in a safe environment. 

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