Education CS Prof George Magoha speaks after receiving the interim report from the national covid-19 education response committee. Magoha asked parents to prepare to stay home with children for much longer as schools will only re-open when Kenya has contained the COVID-19 pandemic.
Education CS Prof George Magoha.

Schools will now be re-opened in January, 2021. This follows an announcement by education cabinet secretary George Magoha on Tuesday. This means all learners will have to repeat their classes next year.

In his announcement the CS noted that it is practically impossible to re-open schools as the minimum conditions have not been met. Magoha said social distancing will not be possible as schools already have large enrollments that have stretched the available physical facilities.

The stake holders who included representatives from the teachers’ employer, TSC, private schools, teachers’ unions, parents, university staff and others hold that schools shall only be allowed to re-open when the Covid-19 infection curve flattens.

“Schools should only re-open when the daily confirmed cases of covid-19 record a reducing trend for a period of 14 days,” reported CS Magoha.

The current spike in cases of the deadly disease must have informed the decision to put on hold any plans of having the kids back to school.


An earlier proposal of having only the candidates report to schools in September was overturned by the stake holders. This means the 2020 education calendar has been forfeited and KCPE and KCSE exams moved to 2021.

All stake holders who made brief remarks before the pronouncement by CS Magoha unanimously agreed that it is not safe to allow learners back to school.

Having two classes of form one classes in 2021 and the high numbers of learners must have also informed the decision of shelving the earlier plan of having KCPE and KCSE candidates back to class in September. Inter-county movement of learners to boarding schools could have ripple effects as it would further fuel the spread of the disease.

The president on Monday, during his state of the nation address, directed the education ministry to release the report to Kenyans as quickly as possible; and had given a deadline of Tuesday July 7, 2020.

Another challenge that could be experienced is shortage of teachers even if there were enough physical facilities to sustain physical distancing in schools. Aged teachers and those with underlying health conditions could also not be available as they face a high risk of severe attack from covid-19.

Magoha said the decision not to re-open schools in September is not cast on a stone can be rescinded if the the cases of covid-19 drop.

“All decisions that we have made here may change as informed by dynamic reports from the Ministry of Health and increased knowledge of Covid-19,” Magoha said.

Re-opening of universities may go on but, they must meet the minimum health standards; covid-19 regulations..

“We are going to inspect the universities before we allow them to re-open,” Magoha added.



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