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Kenya: School reopening dates to be announced today

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The government will today decide on school opening dates as the Cabinet and the national stakeholders’ committee meet to discuss two proposals mooted by the education task force and the Council of Governors.

The stakeholders’ committee will be chaired by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Health counterpart, Mr Mutahi Kagwe. 

President Kenyatta is also expected to attend the meeting, ahead of his official address to the nation.

Kenyans are anxious to know the exact opening dates even as teachers report on duty today to get ready for the learners. 

Education stakeholders have proposed schools to reopen between October 5 and 19, while the CoG proposed that learners in Early Childhood Development Education Centres (ECDEs) report in November.

COG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said the delay is to allow time for monitoring the Covid-19 infection rate.

The council has also proposed reopening of vocational training centres in November.

At today’s meeting, the team will also discuss whether to adopt a change in the school calendar, with June proposed as the new academic year date. 

Parents will also know whether learners will report to school in phases or on the same day. The announcements come a day after doctors expressed concerns over the planned reopening of schools, saying, the move might cripple the health system should the country get a second wave of the virus.

Kenya Medical Association President Andrew Were yesterday said Kenya lacks enough health staff to fight an infection surge if restrictions are lifted.

“Educational institutions will need to ensure that they have access to health services to take care of the learners should they fall ill. This ties with the need to ensure that, there are enough health workers to facilitate assessment of the school population,” he said.

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