Schools in Kenya to reopen in January 2021 as government declares ‘2020 academic year lost’

The Ministry of Education in Kenya has announced that the 2020 academic year will be considered lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic hence all primary and secondary schools will now reopen in January next year.

Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof. George Magoha, in a press address at said the decision was arrived at following consultations with all industry stakeholders and putting into consideration COVID-19 mitigation measures.

According to the CS, the stakeholders resolved to shelve the initial plan to begin phased reopening in September this year after parents expressed reservations about sending their children to school occasioned by the spike in coronavirus cases.

Prof. Magoha said the 2020 Standard 8 and Form 4 candidates will now sit their KCPE and KCSE examinations respectively later in the year of 2021.

The CS stated that all learners in Grade 1 to 4 and Standard 5 to 7 as well as Form 1 to 3 in 2020 will remain in their current classes in 2021.

He also said there will be no KCPE and KCSE examinations in 2021 “because the current Standard 7 and Form 3 students will, practically, not be able to cover the curriculum load for five terms in one year and sit for the examinations.”

“The number of teachers required will increase because secondary schools will have a challenge of having enough teachers, especially for optional subjects, to meet the demand of split classes. In Form One, the compulsory subjects are 11, which will necessitate employment of more teachers to handle the Form One double intake cohorts,” said the CS.

Prof. Magoha added that teacher training colleges and TVET institutions will be allowed to reopen from September 2020 subject to strict adherence to the Ministry of Health COVID-19 protocols.

Universities were also urged to consider phased reopening but only upon achieving physical and social distancing in halls of residence, lecture rooms and dining areas.

Until then, the CS said, they “should continue holding virtual learning and graduations for students who have successfully completed their programmes and met graduation requirements set by their respective Senates.”

Source: Citizen Television