Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Monday, 14th September, hinted that schools might reopen earlier than the initial January plan following a decline in new Covid-19 infections.
Stakeholders have advised him to carefully guide the reopening of schools. But since schools closed in March, there has been little in terms of safety measures put in place for the reopening. The primary school heads lobby has expressed concerns about the inadequate preparations.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) chairman Kahi Indimuli said that many institutions were not ready for the planned reopening.
“The challenge is especially in the public schools that often don’t have adequate space to even meet the basic six-foot distancing guidance.”
Kenya Primary School Heads Association chairperson Nicholas Gathemia said they had not yet received the money to make the safety improvements ahead of the reopening of schools.
Speaking to the Star, he said: “The sad truth is that schools are still stuck where they were in mid-march and head teachers and in the dark on the way forward.”
Experts and medics have recommended the reopening of schools only if the health guidelines are met to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 among teachers and students.
On Monday, the head of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Dr Loice Ombajo, warned that reopening schools without proper preparations would undermine the efforts made to flatten the Covid-19 curve.
She that with the precautions being taken, it would be possible to safely reopen schools when the rate of transmission is low.
The World Health Organization has recommended a rate of infections at five percent or few positive cases of new infections for a period of two weeks. In the second week of September, the rate of infections was at 6.1 percent.