The government has released dates for the reopening of universities and other colleges but issued a raft of tough measures institutions must adhere to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Colleges mark the first learning to institutions to reopen since March when all academic institutions, including primary and secondary schools, were closed after Covid-19 pandemic was declared in Kenya. This offers hope for the eventual full resumption of learning and other government operations as the country emerges from the devastating Coronavirus disruption
A circular issued by the Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof George Magoha stipulates the conditions for reopening from 5th October 2020.
Final year students in all universities and tertiary institutions will be expected to report back to class on Monday, 5th October, in the progressive reopening of institutions. Prof Magoha said the Boards of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions (TVETs), Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) and University Councils would announce the resumption date of in-person learning for other classes.
All the institutions will be expected to adhere strictly to the Ministry of Health guidelines on COVID-19. “Safe resumption of in-person learning in all Universities and Tertiary Institutions requires utmost fidelity to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 protocols and guidelines,” he said.
The learning institutions will, among others, be required to monitor temperatures for all students, enforce observance of hygiene as well as adopt innovative ways of enforcing social distance.
At the same time, all institutions that previously served as designated quarantine facilities will be fumigated prior to their re-opening.
Further, all institutions are required to have links to a medical facility before the re-opening with the Education Ministry threatening punitive actions to institutions that will be found flouting the laid-out guidelines.
Institutions that fail to observe the protocols would be closed, he said.
The fate of Primary and Secondary Schools, however, remains in limbo after President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to give a definite reopening date.
During the 12th address on the COVID-19 in the country at the KICC, President Kenyatta urged focus on ‘how’ schools would reopen and not ‘when’.
He said the conversation on “when” would only be had once the safety of the learners was assured.
“Learning institutions should only be reopened when we have and can sufficiently guarantee the safety of all our children. Let us not focus on when schools will reopen but on how they will reopen, ” he said
During the address, President Kenyatta called on Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to finalize on how schools would re-open safely, saying this would inform the decision on the actual reopening date.