Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has now said that all teachers must undergo a test for the novel coronavirus disease before schools reopen.
Speaking after a consultative meeting with principles and college representatives at the Kenya School of Government in Embu, Magoha said the initiative will be part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
Magoha warned that no college will be allowed to reopen without testing its tutors.
“We must test all the teachers before they go to class. They are not many, but if a teacher is Covid-19 positive, he or she has to stay at home, ” the CS said.
“It is not his or her fault. I could be Covid-19 positive as I talk to you now and I am as strong as an eagle.”
The question is, however, how the government will be able to test the high number of teachers in the country within a short time considering the slow pace witnessed in Covid-19 mass testing. So far the country has only manage to test a little over 189,000 samples.
Tertiary institutions are expected to resume learning from September.
The fate of primary and secondary schools, however, remain unknown with stakeholders pushing for the learning institutions to reopen next year due to the high number of cases being reported.
Magoha had late last month advised President Uhuru Kenyatta not to reopen primary and secondary schools when the country is witnessing a surge.
“I will advise not to open schools when the infections from the disease are rising. We propose that school clusters be attached to a health facility before we can open,” Magoha said during a virtual meeting with the Head of State, his deputy William Ruto, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and Governors on Thursday, June 25.
The CS noted that it will be difficult to enforce social distancing in 40,000 schools with a population of over 14 million students.
Magoha said that technical institutions were at a better position to reopen in September than primary and secondary schools.
The President had on June 1 asked Magoha to fast track and finalize the ongoing consultation with stakeholders and come up with a guideline that will help in gradual resumption of the education activities in the country in September.
“The guideline should also include the protocols to be followed by all learning institutions in order to guarantee not only safety of children but that of parents and grandparents, ” said President Kenyatta.