The National Council Churches of Kenya (NCCK) is calling on the government to review the planned January 5, 2021 re-opening of all schools.
Rev. Canon Chris Kinyanjui, the General Secretary of the umbrella body of churches, says the recent surge in Covid-19 infections in the country will put the lives of students, teachers and parents at higher risk.
“We propose that the decision that all learners will resume in-school learning on January 5, 2021 be reviewed and proper measures be put in place to avoid a surge in new infections,” he said during an NCCK executive committee meeting held in Limuru, Kiambu county, yesterday.
In-Person Learning on January 5, 2021
The Ministry of Education insists that all cadres of learners will resume in-person learning on January 5, 2021.
Children were sent home in March this year soon after the first case of coronavirus was reported in Kenya. The move was meant to contain the spread of the deadly disease, which has so far claimed the lives of 1,500 people in Kenya. The postponement interrupted learning for 17 million children in Kenya, according to UNICEF.
With no end of the pandemic in sight, the government rolled out a partial re-opening of schools. Grade 4 pupils, Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates (Standard 8), and those writing Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (Form Four) examinations were recalled last October.
“Important Lessons”-CS Magoha
“We are drawing important lessons from the partial reopening and are confident that we will remain in the right trajectory in finding a winning formula that will ensure institutions are safe for learners and teachers,” Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said recently.
The partial re-opening has accorded schools adequate space and facilities to adhere to Covid19 guidelines, notably frequent hand washing and social distancing. While Prof Magoha has been on a whirlwind tour around the country inspecting the preparedness of full re-opening, NCCK says the calendar should not be rushed.
“We call on all stakeholders to sit down and review this situation,” Rev. Kinyajui is quoted by the ‘Daily Nation’ as saying. “We must make sure that all the measures have been put in place and that we do not reopen our schools when we are not sure of the safety of our children.”
The total number of coronavirus cases reported in Kenya as of yesterday is 86,383. There has been 1,500 deaths, 67,788 recoveries and 911,596 cumulative tests.
School Re-opening Schedule in Dates and Numbers
- There will be four school terms next year (against the usual three)
- The terms will start on January 4, May 10, July 26, and October 11.
- The 2021 school calendar to start on July 26
- KCPE will be from March 22 to 24; KCSE from March 26 to April 21. A total of 1,187,517 will sit for KCPE and 751,150 for KCSE