Kenya: Schools Will Open On May 10 for Third Term, Says CS George Magoha

Schools will open for Third Term on May 10, 2021 as scheduled, Education CS George Magoha has announced, allaying parents' concerns since the country is still under strict Covid-19 control measures that were introduced last month by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"I am leapfrogging forward and hoping that since it looks like the pandemic is starting to flatten, there may be no need, for now, for me to summon education stakeholders to look afresh at the timetable. It remains as we had decided earlier in the year," Prof Magoha said today when he supervised the administration of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Kiambu County.

Early Learning and Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan had two weeks ago told Nation that a meeting would be held towards the end of the month to deliberate on the opening. He encouraged teachers to turn up for vaccination in preparation for the opening.

Teachers have been identified as frontline workers in the vaccination drive even though their uptake of the vaccine has been slow. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has placed a list of 622 centres on its website where teachers can access the vaccine.

The Covid-19 positivity rate in the country has remained well over the World Health Organisation recommendation of five percent and below for the last 14 days. On Saturday, it was 12.4 per cent, down from Friday's 14.9 per cent.

"This wave is expected to peak in the next 30 days with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases reported daily. Based on experience, this peak will flatten only by Mid-May 2021, which is about sixty days from now," the president said when he announced the measures.

The president also suspended physical learning in all institutions of learning "until otherwise notified". The only exceptions were candidates sitting their examinations and those in medical training institutions. As a result, universities and tertiary colleges suspended in-person learning and switched to learning virtually.

Movement in and out of the 'red zone' counties comprising Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru is restricted and would need to be lifted for learners, parents and teachers to access the institutions.

In the revised calendar that packs four school terms in one year instead of the usual three to make up for the time lost last year, the term will end on July 16 2021, after which learners will proceed for a one week holiday before resuming for Term One on July 26 2021.

Learners will have another one week break from October 2 to October 10 before they open for second term the following day. It will run until December 23. Next year will also have four terms before schools revert to the normal calendar in January 2023.

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