Covid-19: August holiday to be shortened, school hours to be extended


Covid-19: August holiday to be shortened, school hours to be extended
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha in a press briefing on Sunday, April 19, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

The government is planning to shorten the second term mid-term break and August holiday to recover the learning period lost due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha says should schools be re-opened within the next one month as expected there will be a loss of seven weeks on the school calendar.

According to the Education CS, to ensure completion of the syllabus within the scheduled time, the second term mid-term break will be shortened by four days and the August holiday by two weeks.

The Ministry says it will further adjust the school day to have longer learning hours.

“The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya led to the closure of schools on March 15, 2020 three weeks earlier than scheduled. The Ministry has further extended the reopening for the second term by one month effective from May 4, 2020. The net effect is the loss of seven weeks of school calendar,” said Prof. Magoha.

He made the revelation while responding to queries by Parliament on various measures taken by the Education Ministry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The CS maintained that the government has not made plans yet to postpone this year’s KCPE and KCSE exams.

“Ministry continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation as it consults with other relevant Government Agencies before undertaking any further mitigation measures in the sector,” said Magoha.

“…the calendar for administering KCPE and KCSE remains unchanged as at the date of this statement, April 27, 2020.”

Prof. Magoha told Parliament that online and electronic delivery of lessons across the country is taking place through State broadcaster KBC,  EDU TV channel, YouTube, Kenya Educational Cloud and regional FM radio stations in remote parts of the country.

At the same time, CS Magoha said there are a total of 460 educational institutions that have been designated as isolation/quarantine centres, with 331 of them being secondary schools while the rest are universities and colleges.

To ensure the said schools will not pose a health risk if learning was to resume immediately, Magoha says the Ministry of Health will fumigate the buildings before learning commences.

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