The Government will release Sh19 Billion to all Public Primary and Secondary schools ahead of reopening next Monda. Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha says the funds will enable the schools to prepare adequately for learning programmes. Secondary schools will take a larger portion of the funds. Of this, Sh14 billion will go to secondary schools while the remaining amount will be channeled to primary schools.
While assessing the level of preparedness for schools, CS Magoha warned Principals and Headteachers against misappropriating the funds adding that those caught embezzling funds will face the full force of the law.
“Use the money for the purpose it is meant for. Spend the funds with due diligence,” he warned.
Magoha said the elephant in the room is how to ensure social distancing among learners taking into account the inadequate facilities in most schools.
“The only problem we are facing is social distancing and our children must come to school,” he noted.
“We are assessing the preparedness of the schools. As the government we cannot continue holding the children at home as this will be a waste of time,” he added.
CS Magoha advised schools to take advantage of good sunny weather and use tree shades within the school compound as classes so as to ensure physical distancing.
“If the weather is as good as now, nothing stops the headteacher, who is an excellent teacher from having classes there in addition to others being inside the rooms. Let us be innovative and stop criticizing without a solution,” Magoha advised.
KCSE and KCPE exams
The CS exuded confidence that the national examinations will go on as planned. He said the Kenya National Examinations Council, KNEC, will give guidance on how candidates who may not report to their examination centres will be handled.
“If there is evidence that an institution cannot reopen, especially private schools, the government will absorb all the children during exam days. The exam council will give directions on where the child will sit the examination in one of the government institutions,” Magoha said.
Schools must reopen
While urging Kenyans to stop politicizing schools’ reopening and said schools must reopen as earlier planned.
“Nothing will stop the reopening of schools come Monday next week. The government has to ensure that all the learners in 34,000 primary schools will resume learning.. Parents should not listen to such people who are out to mislead them for their interest in politics.” He said.
He urged parents to buy enough masks for their kids adding that only three million out of 16 million learners in both secondary and primary schools will get masks from the government.
Magoha said one million masks have been delivered and another two million are to be sourced before schools open.
The masks will, though, benefit a few learners from select areas.
“There will be free masks distributed to needy children. The ministry will ensure that learners from the slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kiawara in Nyeri and Kiandutu in Thika are among those that will benefit.” He reported.
Magoha told head teachers not to be too hard on parents when it comes to payment of school fees.
“Primary education is free as per the constitution but in cases where it is payable, we are asking teachers to identify the needy children and support them. Let’s not have a situation where a pandemic has occasioned the loss of jobs and then we send children back home,” Magoha said.