New Covid-19 cases won't lead to closure of schools: Magoha

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha at Malava Primary School in Kakamega County on October 23, 2020 to assess the quality of new desks delivered following the reopening of schools.


 

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Prof Magoha said the small pockets of infections in schools are being monitored closely.
  • He said the infections in schools are a reflection of the situation among communities in specific regions.
  • He said the Education and Health ministries will continue monitoring the situation.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has ruled out closure of schools due to new Covid-19 cases reported among learners and teachers after Grade Four, Standard Eight and Form Four learners reported back.

Prof Magoha, who went to Kakamega County on Friday to inspect production units for desks being distributed to schools, said the small pockets of infections in schools are being monitored closely.

He said he is visiting schools to ensure the desks meet specifications and are of good quality before payments are processed.

But the CS hinted that learners who are still at home may take longer to return to school, noting no dates were given.

“That date of October 26 belonged to the media. What we said is that we were going to monitor how everything is going and shall make an announcement in consultation with the Interior and Health ministries.”

“We are auditing processes that took place over the last two weeks. Any decision to be made will be based on facts. Nobody is thinking of closing schools again and nobody is thinking of rushing to reopen the others.”

“Nothing major”

Prof Magoha further explained that the infections in schools are a reflection of the situation among communities in specific regions and that the reopening of bars has led to a spike in the number of infections.

He said the ministry has therefore taken steps to contain the spread of the virus but that there is “nothing to worry about”.

“We have had small pockets of outbreaks in places such as Mombasa, which have necessitated certain actions, for example the closure of schools for two weeks, but we are happy nothing serious has happened,” he said.

He said teachers’ training colleges (TTCs), TVETs, public and private universities have also reopened and that there is no cause for worry.

CS Magoha further noted that it is not the Education ministry’s duty to close schools over health concerns as such a decision is covered under the Public Health Act, he said.

“We are happy that we reopened schools for three million of our children in Grade Four, Standard Eight and Form Four. We are also very happy to announce that nothing major has happened that can shake our resolve.”

He said the Education and Health ministries will continue monitoring the situation.

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