Magoha bars journalists from schools to ‘curb exam cheating, Covid-19’

Education CS George Magoha.

Photo credit: File photo

The Ministry of Education has banned journalists from visiting schools, saying this is aimed at curbing examination cheating and the spread of coronavirus.

Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Wednesday said that, this being the third term for Standard 8 and Form Four candidates, no visitors will be allowed in schools and the media is not an exception.

“I want to persuade you, ladies and gentlemen, that you will most kindly keep away from schools. Not completely, because I have a team out there and they have the capacity to carry the media into schools so that they are your chaperons,” said Prof Magoha.

The CS added: “This is because the examination matter is a very serious matter. Now that our children are going to be doing their exams in less than eight weeks, no visitors will be allowed in learning institutions.”

Prof Magoha was quick to add that the ministry was not hiding anything from the public, saying that when ministry officials visit schools, they always invite journalists to accompany them.

'No one has singled out the media'

“No one has singled out the media. When we are going there, we kindly ask you to follow us. We are not hiding anything,” said the CS.

According to Prof Magoha, the directive to bar visitors from schools was also issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta and it has to be implemented by both the Ministry and school administrators.

On Sunday, President Kenyatta issued an Executive Order banning all non-essential visits to schools by parents and guardians, saying they should only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.

“For parents who will visit the schools they will be required to be registered in the school records and subjected to all infection prevention protocols,” said the President.

However, on Wednesday, Prof Magoha said journalists are also part of visitors and cannot be allowed to enter schools unless invited by the ministry.

“When it comes to trust, I do not trust anyone not even the media. And this being an examination term, no one will be allowed in schools,” said Prof Magoha.

Prof Magoha said the ''no visitors'' policy during the national examination term is not a new directive but it was implemented five years ago to curb exam cheating in schools.

The CS said further said, under the Covid 19 health protocols, children must be kept safe and allowing visitors may cause a spread of the virus in school-going children.

“Keep away from schools for the sake of our children’s safety,” he told journalists on Wednesday in Nairobi.


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