Basic education classes are set to resume on January 2021 following a directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 13th COVID-19 national address issued to the country from State House, Nairobi on Wednesday.
In the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) format, Basic Education classes include Early Years — defined as 5 years of pre-primary and lower primary education, Upper Primary, Lower Secondary, and Senior School.
President Kenyatta directed that learning in this bracket resume but under heightened surveillance and observation of Ministry of Health guidelines in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“To foster the State’s preparedness of the reopening of all classes in our learning institutions in January, I urge and encourage Members of Parliament to engage their respective National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) and Constituency Development Fund (CDF) boards with a view of finding ways to augment the existing interventions that are geared towards the reopening of our schools,” directed the President.
“I urge them to make investments that focus on additional handwashing points in our schools and the provision of face masks to our children on general sanitization in our schools as well as the physical distancing of students and teachers,” he further directed.
Class 8, Form Four and Grade 4 learners resumed classes on October 12 following a directive by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha and since then, there has been a lack of clarity on exactly when the rest of the Kenyan learners would revert back to their studies.
Uhuru also directed safety measures be heightened to protect these three classes of students with the former 2 expected to sit for their national examinations early next year.
On one hand, Prof. Magoha on Monday took the bold stand and stated that children are safer in schools while on the other hand, COVID-19 has rocked schools affecting examination candidates triggering suggestions that the government might be forced to suspend learning in the wake of the surge in cases.
On Tuesday, 52 students, 6 teachers, and 2 support staff at Kolanya High School in Busia County tested positive for the virus sparking panic among their colleagues, the school fraternity, and across the county as well.
Uhuru did not make changes to directives already governing religious gatherings but stressed that any indoor gatherings must not exceed a third of their normal sitting capacity.
“Those who fail to meet those requirements will be stopped from further gatherings,” warned Uhuru.