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Report recommends Magoha to reopen schools in September

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Education CS George Magoha on Friday received the final report of the Covid-19 National Education Response Committee.

In it the committee gives guidelines on the reopening of primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. 

The committee had in its preliminary report recommended that schools be reopened in September.

The institutions were closed in mid-March after the first three Covid-19 cases were reported in the country.

The number of recorded coronavirus cases had risen to 2,340 by Thursday, with 78 deaths and 592 recoveries.

Magoha had set June 4 as the tentative opening date pending the advice of the committee and the Ministry of Health. But rising Covid-19 cases saw the CS change tune on May 28, saying he will not gamble with the lives of learners.

“A child who is at home and alive is better than one who tried to do exams and died,” Magoha said while receiving the preliminary report of the committee at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

The CS urged the team to prioritise the safety of learners and teachers in making its final recommendations.

The team chaired by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Council chairperson Sara Ruto advised Magoha to reschedule national exams from November to February next year.

Other than reorganising the school calendar, the committee was tasked with advising the CS on the health and safety measures necessary for pupils, students, teachers and the entire school community prior to reopening of schools.

The team was also asked to look into the impact on Covid-19 on the demand for education by poor households and suggest mitigation measures and how to onboard learners once schools reopen.

It was also supposed to identify institutions that may have been adversely affected by Covid-19 and advise on mitigation and recovery measures.

The committee was assigned the role of making recommendations for future preparedness based on lessons learnt from the pandemic.

The final decision on when to reopen schools rests with Magoha and President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the final recipient of the report.

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