schools used as quarantine facilities should be vacated and fumigated ahead of reopening-Education Ministry

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,22ND SEPT,2020-The ministry of education now wants County governments  to ensure that all learning institutions used as quarantine facilities  vacated and fumigated  ahead of eventual reopening

In a notice sent by the Ministry of Education through the health docket, all the institutions that have been serving as quarantine and isolation facilities to contain Covid-19 should be vacated by September 28.

The notice by Education PS Belio Kipsang indicated that the Covid-19 curve has been flattening and as a result, there is consensus among education stakeholders that schools will reopen earlier than anticipated.

“Arising from the above, and aware that the public schools were used as both quarantine and isolation facilities, we are requesting that these schools are vacated and fumigated by September 28, to enable the heads of schools to prepare them for eventual reopening,” Kipsang said.

The notice came after the Teachers Service Commission directed teachers to return to school by Monday next week.

TSC  CEO Nancy Macharia made the announcement on Monday following a meeting among stakeholders at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to map out the reopening of learning institutions.

Macharia said teachers will ensure that learners recover the lost time.

“Teachers are free to report back to school anytime from now until Monday in readiness for when schools reopen,” she said.

On when schools will reopen, Education CS George Magoha said, “We are waiting for the larger stakeholders’ meeting which will be before September 28 to endorse the recommendations reached today.”

However, Magoha gave a go-ahead to final year students in universities and taking courses that could require physical engagement to report back to school.

The students will be required to observe guidelines put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The government through President Uhuru Kenyatta closed all schools after the outbreak of Covid-19 in March.

Since then, schools have grown grass and turned bushy while some have dilapidated infrastructure.

“Let teachers do everything possible to make schools have a good atmosphere for learning. Children will resume learning as soon as possible,” Magoha said last Friday at Mawego Technical Training Institute in Karachuonyo.

He had said the reopening of schools will begin with national examination classes before it is cascaded to other classes at different levels.

On Tuesday, the Kenya National Union of Teachers asked tutors to honour their employers’ call and return to school as instructed by Monday.

KNUT Sec-Gen Wilson Sossion said teachers are prepared to recover the time lost.

“I’m urging teachers to give what they have never given before because we are in a period we have never been before,” Sossion said.

The union said the move to review the school calendar has been informed by a decline in the number of coronavirus infections.

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