Nairobi. Kenya’s Ministry of Education has declared the 2020 academic year lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic therefore all primary and secondary schools will now reopen in January 2021.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha, in a press address at KICD, said the decision was arrived at following consultations with all industry stakeholders and putting into consideration COVID-19 mitigation measures.
As such, CS Magoha said, Standard Eight and Form Four students who were to sit the exams this year will do so in 2021.
“Stakeholders have shelved the initial proposal to reopen schools in September for Standard Eight and Form Four candidates,” he said.
The minister also announced that all basic learning institutions will re-open in January next year, as that is when the virus curve is expected to have flattened.
Therefore, Prof Magoha said, all students will repeat their classes. He added, however, that the decision will be reviewed if the daily count of Covid-19 cases reduces within 14 days.
The ministry further announced that technical and vocational education and training (Tvet) institutions as well as colleges will re-open in September but only with strict adherence to the Ministry of Health's guidelines for containing the virus.
"Universities will be allowed to re-open if they meet all the requirements set by Ministry of Health, and they must be inspected. Members of staff must agree on how they will do a phased reopening,” he said.
The announcements came a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the cessation of movement order that affected counties considered coronavirus hotspots.
The move is considered risky as the daily Covid-19 statistics for the last few days have been alarming. The highest single day count so far is 389 cases,, the figure recorded on July 4.
As at July 6, Kenya had a recorded a total of 8,067 confirmed cases of the virus, 164 deaths and 2,414 recoveries.
President Kenyatta also allowed the phased re-opening of places of worship but said only 100 people will attend services and that they will last one hour.
The strict rules for the re-opening of places of worship have faced opposition, with some saying the freedom of worship will be stifled.