The University of Nairobi Towers. The government has laid out plans to reopen Kenyan universities.

The Ministry of Education has laid out a set of conditions that must be met before universities can be reopened in accordance with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that institutions of learning ease back to normalcy starting September 2020.

In a circular to Vice-Chancellors, University Education & Research Principal Secretary Amb. Simon Nabukwesi observed projections by the Ministry of Health show that COVID-19 infections are expected to peak between August and September then Coronavirus cases in the country will start falling after which learning institutions could then be reopened.

Amb. Nabukwesi has directed the Vice Chancellors to come up with reopening plans for their institutions. The PS wants the Vice Chancellors and the University Principals to ensure that they ensure that provision of minimum requirements for prevention of the virus which include;

  • Clean running water and soap for handwashing.
  • Sanitizers
  • Frequent cleaning and sanitization of frequently touched objects such as doorknobs, light switches, and stair railings with disinfectants.
  • Adequate space for social distancing
  • Mandatory use of masks or face shields for learners, lecturers, and non-teaching staff. Universities have been advised to provide these items to students and staff at subsidized rates.
  • Thermo guns for monitoring body temperature of all persons entering the public university and specific public spaces on campus.

For institutions whose facilities are still being used as isolation, quarantine, or treatment centers, managers have been asked to liase with the Ministry of Health to cease any further admissions and to transfer the patients to Ministry of Health facilites.

“Once the patients are transferred you must ensure that the facilities used during the treatment are properly fumigated for safe use as per the guidelines as per the Ministry of Health.

Universities have further been directed to ensure contingency plans are provided for students who might need assistance to get back to campus and those who might not be able to make it back.

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“Universities should be able to make sure that students and staff who might not be able to make it back are facilitated to continue teaching and learning remotely,” said Amb. Nabukwesi.

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Samuel Gitonga is a senior reporter at BUSINESS TODAY. Email: [email protected]

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