Schools in Kenya today Monday 4th of January 2020 after a 10-month break over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools closed in March 2020 after confirming of the first case of COVID-19 in the country. With partial re-opening done in October for Form 4, Class 8 candidates and Grade 4 pupils.
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On Monday, millions of learners streamed back to school marking the resumption of learning across the country. Some learners required to repeat their classes due to the lost academic year.
A spot check shows that both public and private schools resumed despite various challenges encountered, including transport crisis as learners travelled back to school to and from upcountry.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has emphasised the need for learners, teachers and other support staff to have masks on and maintain high hygiene standards to curb the spread of the virus.
On Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed County Health Departments to carry out routine surveillance for COVID-19 and other public health challenges in all schools including a random sampling of pupils, teachers, and support staff.
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All teachers and learners were required to wear “appropriate facemasks when on the school premises or within the school transport. In addition to applying hand-hygiene and physical spacing.”
Some schools like Tala Boys Primary School in Machakos County had learners taking classes outside while learners in more than ten schools in Nyando were relocated to nearby schools due to floods.
2020 School closure
“The 2020 school calendar year lost due to Covid-19 restrictions,” Mr Magoha said.
This would apply to public and private schools, he said.
The government-run Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development provided school programmes. They made it via the radio, television and online since students stopped going to classes in March.
But while some managed to cover the syllabus using these resources, some could not have access to the technology.
Mr Magoha said his ministry would explore how to make online learning accessible to all pupils.