Government postpones opening of schools to May 6

 Ezekiel Machogu

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

The government has postponed the opening of primary and secondary schools by one week due to the ongoing rains. The institutions, which were scheduled to open for the second term on April 29, 2024, will now open on May 6, 2024.

In a statement on Monday morning, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said they have received data that some schools have been adversely affected by floods.

"In the face of ongoing heavy rains, the Ministry of Education last week directed its field officers to submit data from all basic education learning institutions countrywide to assist the government in assessing the readiness of schools for the opening of the second term on Monday, April 29, 2024," Mr Machogu said.

Star of the Sea School

Students from Star of the Sea School in Mombasa County head back home on April 29, 2024, after opening dates were postponed to May 6. 

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

"Reports received by the Ministry of Education corroborated with data from other relevant government agencies, show that a number of schools in various regions of the country have been adversely affected by the rains," the Education CS added.

He said the devastating effects of the rains in some of the schools were so severe that it would be imprudent to risk the lives of learners and staff before watertight measures were put in place to ensure adequate safety of all affected school communities.

The CS added that based on this assessment, the ministry has resolved to postpone the reopening of all primary and secondary schools by one week.

This is a reprieve for parents, some of whom had urged the state to postpone the reopening of schools due to the incessant rains.

On Sunday morning, however, the CS said that schools would reopen today as planned, except for those affected by flooding.

Mcedo Beijing School located in Mathare Slums

The entrance to Mcedo Beijing School located in Mathare Slums flooded due to recent heavy rains on April 27, 2024.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Mr Machogu added that the Ministry of Education will work with relevant agencies and stakeholders to put in place measures to mitigate the adverse effects of the rains and will provide regular updates on all developments relating to the education sector. 

The floods have, so far, killed over 80 people and displaced at least 131,450.

Makande Girls Secondary School

Students at Makande Girls Secondary School in Mombasa released after the government postponed the opening of schools.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

The Kenya Meteorological Department Director David Gikungu warned that the rains would continue in various parts of the country for the next seven days. He also said there is a risk of landslides on steep slopes.

Tana River is one of the counties badly affected by floods. Some families have been forced to move out of their homes as a swollen River Tana threatens to break its banks. Other residents in the region have been living in displaced people’s camps since last year after their houses were destroyed by El-Nino rains.

Other regions where floods have left families homeless are Nairobi, parts of the Rift Valley, Nyanza, Western and Central Kenya.