In March, after the country recorded its first cases of Coronavirus, schools and learning facilities were closed and students sent home in a bid to flatten the curve and combat the spread of the virus.
However, 6 months since the closure of schools, there are no safety measures and precautions set up in place ahead of the reopening in January.
For instance, Education CS George Magoha has on several occasions been criticized for making swift decisions without consulting, only to change his mind later and sing to another tune.
The most recent development on school reopening indicates that students will be back to school in January 2021. Nonetheless, no information has been given on the said reopening, whether it will be gradual or immediate.
Ideally, with COVID-19 not going away anytime soon, safety measures that need to be put up in preparation for the same have not yet been communicated.
According to a report by a local media, school stakeholders and parents have been on the dark on the whole issue of school reopening.
For instance, an interview with a section of headteachers and top school heads indicate that they have not been consulted nor involved in the decision-making process.
“The sad truth is that schools are still stuck where they were in mid- March and headteachers are in the dark on the way forward,” a school head is quoted by the publication under anonymity.
At the same time, parents are questioning the way forward given that December is a month of festivities, followed by January where there is little or no money at all.
The questions being raised include, “What will happen to the school fees we already paid? Will there be an additional fee for safety measures? Will parents be required to buy masks, sanitizers and other protective gear? What is the government’s role and stand on this?”
On Wednesday, September 9, 2020, Education CS George Magoha criticized the media for what he termed as misquoting him regarding the schools reopening date, thus making him look like a fool.
“I will not, and shall not say anything in regard to the reopening of schools in Kenya. The Fourth Estate (the media) has continued to religiously write what I have not said [about that topic],” the CS said.
The CS said, contrary to the media reports, he is very firm on his decision to reopen schools thus will implement measures.
Some of the measures according to Magoha include setting aside Sh1.9 billion for the making of new desks which would facilitate social distancing in schools.
Taking into consideration the congestion in different schools, the number of classes and dormitories as well as social amenities including toilets, much more needs to be done for schools to reopen next year.
This entails consultations with school heads, parents and all relevant stakeholders to avert a crisis that might throw the country back to where it all started.