Kenya’s Ministry of Education on Tuesday announced all schools in the country will remain closed until next January due to the coronavirus pandemic, reported BBC. The final year exams, which are usually conducted in October and November, have also been canceled.
“The 2020 school calendar year will be considered lost due to Covid-19 restrictions,” said Education Minister George Magoha.
“Faced with this uncertain environment, the stakeholders have resolved to reopen all basic education learning institutions in January 2021,” he said. “This is based on the assumption that the infection curve will have flattened by December 2020.”
Magoha said this would apply to public and private schools. He added that students would have to repeat a year as schools were closed in mid-March, almost three months after the school calendar had begun. Kenya’s academic year runs from January to November.
The 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates will now appear for their exams later next year.
Meanwhile, colleges and universities will be made to reopen in September subject to strict adherence to the Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols.
The education minister said the decision was made after consultations with all industry stakeholders and putting into consideration coronavirus mitigation measures. He, however, said that the decision will be reviewed if the daily number of coronavirus cases reduces within the next 14 days.
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has been conducting online classes via the radio, television and online since students stopped going to classes in March.
While some students have access to the online classes, there are many others who don’t enjoy any such privilege.
Taking this onto consideration, Mr. Magoha said his ministry would explore ways to make online learning accessible to all pupils by enhancing e-learning.
As of Monday, July 6, Kenya had reported around 8,067 confirmed coronavirus cases, 164 deaths, and 2,414 recoveries.