Last Updated at: 2020-08-17 08:40:30
Education CS Magoha has said that reopening of basic education in January 2021 may be pushed further. Speaking today to the National Assembly Education Committee Professor George said the reopening of schools will depend on Covid-19 curve.
He said the expansion of infrastructure in learning institutions is hindered by lack of funds which make it doubtful for reopening of schools in January. More than fifteen million learners are out of school since the breakout of Covid-19 in the country.
Just a few days ago the long-expected reopening of universities and colleges in September was forwarded further creating a doubtful possibility of reopening basic learning institutions in January.
Education CS cited the daily continuous spike in coronavirus infections cases as the major reasons as to why reopening dates could be pushed further adding that lack of Covid-19 vaccines to contain the virus will jeopardize resumption of learning.
According to CS Magoha majority of public learning, institutions are far from achieving the minimum precaution standard set by the Ministry of Education. However, consultations are in place to provide private learning institutions with credit facilities.
This is after private schools asked the Education Ministry to provide them with at least a credit facility.
Magoha has already promised that should the consultations go on well as expected, private institutions experiencing financial challenges might benefit from a Sh.7billion credit facility.
It is estimated that at least 124 private schools have already shut down their learning facilities due to lack of money and facilities to support their normal operations.
Teachers service commission also warned teachers who get undocumented payments that they'll not get teaching opportunities. Teachers who got their TSC registration numbers through fraudulent means also risk deregistation from the employers book. Over 310,000 registered teachers are unemployed according to TSC.
A research carried out in 2009, revealed that over 20000 were not registered by Teachers Service Commission which violates article 237 (2a) and article 23(2) of the Kenyan constitution. The forementioned articles requires the Commission to register all qualified teachers and discourages unregistered teachers from engaging in teaching.
A good number of undergraduate teachers have been employed by Board of Management in many public schools and without TSC numbers. Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, BOM teachers have not been payed.
The government has already announced that there is a probability of getting Bom and private school techers paid through funds that have already been released to public schools. 7 bilion Kenyan shillings could also land in the hands of Private School managers on loan terms to support their teaching staffs.
Mount Kenya University and Strathmore University are the only uniniversities that have complied with the minimum requirements for reopening of studies. This is according to the Education CS Magoha who has revealed that he is fully satisfied with the preparations made by the learning institutions.
The two learning institutions successfully launched virtual learning and graduation ceremonies, put in place required protocols for social distancing, enough water and sanitation points and laid down strategies for avoiding and reducing over crowding.
MKU have implemented important changes, restructured their physical environment and embraced distance learning. All important meetings must take place in the arranged classes organized for such occasions with proper precaution measures in place.
The school of humanities, Education to be specific Arts fuculties, business and economics courses are taught online to create more space at the university premises. Courses that deals with practicals and examining in laboratories will be conducted in the university.
Automatic sanitiser dispensers and multiple water tanks at different points of the premises for are a few numbers of improvements notable at the university. The large spacing in every lecture hall is motivating. Each lecture hall will accommodate half the normal capacity.
Wi-Fi has been improved and enhanced in different points to avoid overcrowding in libraries and reading areas. Hostels will only accommodate 2 students per room as opposed to 4 or 6 in normal situation. Eating intervals at the mess have been increased to reduce congestion.
Sitting arrangement in computer labs, libraries and classrooms have been restricted to ensure a one and half meter distancing space. Having the previous trimester successfully concluded in April, MKU is continuing with its March-Aug trimester virtually.
Nurses and medical professionals have been hired for proper screening of every single person using the university premises. Unnecessary gathering is banned within the premises until normalcy resumes.
Learning will be online for special cases that are unavoidable. Most courses will be taught virtually apart from a few that requires physical teaching. Sitting arrangement has been changed and lecture hall capacity slashed to accommodate half of the normal capacity.
All students will be mandated to clean their lecture halls seats using wipes that are disinfectant. All non working staffs will be issued with PPE's for safety including cleaners. Dust bins will be emptied regularly and all entrances and windows will remain open. Face masks will be worn by every person in the University.
Each room will contain free agents, mops, water and a mopping bucket as classrooms will be thoroughly washed and cleaned using disinfect-soaps and sanitized accordingly. Medical professionals will be placed at various screen-points during working hours where they will tent with full protective gears.
Notices indicating Covid-19 rules and regulations including number of learners and persons recommended at particular areas will be pinned in every place including in Labs, libraries and classrooms. Health's recommended face masks will be sold at different points to ensure policy and guidelines are adhered to.
Any visit to the university premises will be recorded down with every details of the visitor's information including age, phone number, name among others. Only those who meet the above guidelines will be permitted into the university. Frequency of students transportation will be increased for decongestion. University's vehicles will be washed and cleaned daily.
With the above measures and precautions met, the education mjnistry fully believes that the two private universities are ready for resumption of learning. Infant the Education CS believes that they are the only private institutions prepared for reopening.
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