The Kenyan ministry of education on Monday said that all schools will reopen fully in January after nearly a year of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, reported CGTN Africa. The government’s announcement comes even as the number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities continue to spike in the country.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said that the schools will fully resume on Jan. 4, 2021, accompanied by stringent measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The government started to reopen educational institutions in the country in October since schools were shut in March.
“This will apply to PP1 and 2, Grade 1, 2 and 3, Class 5, 6 and 7 and Form 1, 2 and 3 learners,” Magoha said at a briefing in Nairobi. “I wish to assure the country that the government is determined to ensure a safe reopening and learning of our schools.”
Magoha said the academic calendar for the students will complete on March 19 when examinations for primary and high school finalists are set to begin.
“All learners, except class 8 and Form 4 candidates will proceed for a seven-week holiday to allow for examinations administration and marking,” said Magoha.
He said the Kenyan ministry of education is taking all the required steps to strengthen COVID-19 containment measures in the learning institutions ahead of their full reopening in January.
Last week, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the education ministry to come up with viable dates for the resumption of in-person learning countrywide.
He said that reopening of schools is important to boost the emotional and cognitive well-being of children and youth amid prolonged stay at home to help curb transmission of COVID-19.
According to the Kenyan Health Ministry, the country reported 559 new virus cases on Monday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 70,804.