Task Force Split Over School Opening

The expectations of schools reopening next month have dealt a major blow after a disagreement between the members of the task force.

Education Ministry COVID-19 Response Committee is in a dilemma of whether to recommend reopening of learning institutions or advice the government to extend the current closure period.

According to our sources, 70% of the members of the task force chaired by Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development chairperson, Dr. Sara Ruto is in favor of the immediate opening of schools.

20% of the committee wants the schools to be opened partially while the remaining 10% want the schools to remain closed until coronavirus pandemic is contained.

Dr. Ruto’s team is expected to complete its technical work this week and prepare a report before submitting it to the Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha. However, the taskforce is stack with the challenge of building a report that reflects the views of everyone within the education sector.

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Endanger Learners 

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) chairman, Omboko Milemba said yesterday that failure to reopen soon would affect transitioning of learners from one grade to the other and that would likely lead to secondary schools not having form one classes.

At a press conference yesterday, Kenya National Union of Teachers and other unions urged the government not to bow to the pressure of opening schools soon as it will endanger the lives of learners.

According to KNUT boss Wilson Sossion, parents are not ready to let their children back to school until Covid-19 curve is flattened

 Mandatory Testing

The taskforce is currently mulling whether to take a risk to recommend to the government to reopen schools at this point when the country is struggling to have mass testing.

At this point in time, some members of the taskforce are adamant that learners should not return to schools without stringent coronavirus tests.

The big question at the moment is whether the government will make it authentic for teachers and non-staff members to undergo mandatory testing of coronavirus.

The task force was created by Prof. George Magoha to look into the possible schools reopening and explore various ways in which normalcy in the basic education calendar can be restored.

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