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Do Not Rush To Reopen Schools, Raila Advices As Virus Cases Increase

ODM leader Raila Odinga [Photo/Courtesy]

ODM party leader Raila Odinga has asked the government not to reopen schools, just yet.

Speaking to Milele FM on Tuesday morning, Raila said that the state should have measures in place before allowing children resume learning.

He also noted that the health of the learners should be a priority, adding that their final examinations can be rescheduled to a later date.

“Hakuna haraka. Hata kama tumepoteza mwaka mmoja kusomesha watoto, afadhali tuupoteza lakini watoto wako hai kuliko kuharakisha eti waende kwa sababu wanaenda kufanya mtihani. Mtihani ni nini? Wanaeza kufanya mwaka huu na wakikosa wanaezafanya mwaka mwingine,” he said.

The opposition leader also asked that the ongoing e-learning programmes not be included in the exams as some learners are yet to access the lessons.

Ministry of Education CS Prof George Magoha hinted at schools resuming in June should the coronavirus pandemic be under control by then.

As a result, the ministry formed a Covid-19 Education Response Committee chaired by Dr Sara Ruto.

Appearing before the committee last week, Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) chairperson Nicholas Gathemia asked that the decision to resume learning be well thought out.

Mr Gathemia while presenting his submissions on behalf of headteachers also asked that the national examinations be done at a later date.

“No schools should open until the virus is fully eradicated or brought under control in the country,” he said.

He gave an example of Nairobi County where classrooms in public schools are usually congested with number of pupils ranging from 70 to 110.

“It is not possible to observe some of the measures of social distancing unless more classrooms are added,” he continued.

Kenya women Teachers association (Kewota) on the other hand want schools to reopen in July.

“A consideration for opening of schools in September 2020, subject to 90 day allowance for the government to put in place health and safety measures for teachers and learners.

“This includes overall health consideration in the flattening of the virus curve. Consequently, an adjustment of school calendar to fit the learners needs in terms of syllabus coverage.

“Policies established to protect staff, teachers and students who are at high risk due to age or underlying medical conditions, with plans to cover absent teachers and continue remote education to support students unable to attend school, accommodating individual circumstances to the extent possible,” said the association.

Kenya’s virus cases currently stand at 1,286 and are expected to peak in the months of August and September.

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Written by Eva Nyambura

Content creator at | Passionate about telling the untold story. Lover of life, music and technology. Simplicity is KEY


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