Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha announced that the reopening of schools and tertiary institutions will not only depend on the level of preparedness to combat Covid-19 by the institutions but also largely on the decision by the President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The CS made the pronouncement during an inspection tour of Siaya Institute of Technology to assess the preparedness of the institution in line with the WHO and Government of Kenya (GoK) guidelines. “more than 100,000 schools are still closed across the nation and only the President can make the decision to reopen them. This however can only happen when all schools shall have complied with the guidelines fully” Prof Magoha said.
Magoha reminded Kenyan’s demanding for the reopening of schools about the sanctity of life “the right to life is more important than the right to education; every Kenyan child has a right to live and this might be put in jeopardy if we reopen schools before we are fully prepared” The CS emphasised.
Other government officials present to witness the inspection were; the County Director of Education Richard Chepkawai, Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority (TVETA) officials, Chairman Board of Governors SIT, Mr Moses Kawa hosted by the Principal Siaya Institute of Technology (SIT) Mr J.W Okumu together with SIT staff.
Mr Okumu reiterated the call by the CS on citizens to observe the guidelines set by the GoK and WHO to combat Covid-19 and reported that the institution was taking the necessary measures to comply with those guidelines “ as an institution, we would wish that our trainees complete their studies in time, however because the right to life is more important, we are preparing adequately in readiness to reopen.
“If we were to reopen by observing the guidelines, we can only accommodate 750 students out of our current enrolment of 2532” Mr Okumu said adding that these would be the societal challenges that Kenyans have to deal with since the reduction in the numbers that can be accommodated may affect the duration within which the trainees complete their courses.
The Board Chairman Mr Kawa emphasized that the board together with the management of SIT continue to work tirelessly to ensure full compliance with the guidelines as recommended.