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COVID-19: Kenya to re-open schools in 2021, students, teacher test positive in Ghana

GEORGE Magoha, Kenyan Education Cabinet Secretary says schools in the country would not re-open until 2021 noting that re-opening of schools at the moment is not safe.

Magoha was quoted by a local media in Kenya that it is not practical and safe to re-open schools in Kenya  because the peak period for the virus infections is just starting.

According to him, all learners will be required to repeat their current classes when schools re-open next year as the national examinations for primary and secondary schools will not be done this year.

“Schools will re-open next year that is when KCPE and KCSE examinations will be done,” Magoha said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the closure of schools in Kenya on March 15, soon after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country.

Mogoha, however, assured Kenyans that the narratives might change if things improve in the country.

“All the decisions that we have made with stakeholders regarding reopening of learning institutions may change as informed by reports from the Ministry of Health, prevailing circumstances and increased knowledge of the COVID-19,” he explained.

He said the Ministry will explore several ways that will ensure school children are engaged while at home, adding that online learning is mainly going on in private schools.

Magoha stated that the decision to reduce physical contact in learning institutions came after due consultations with the Ministry of Health by having fewer learners if schools were to re-open once the curve flattens. COVID-19 cases had surged to 8,007 by July 7.

“Based on this disturbing trend, stakeholders have shelved an initial proposal to reopen basic education learning institutions,” he said.

Universities were, however, allowed to re-open subject to meeting COVID-19 protocols but he warned that institutions that will flout the COVID-19 containment measures will be closed.

“Reopening of universities for face-to-face sessions will be on a case-by-case basis based on approved compliance with the Ministry of Health COVID-19 protocols,” he explained.

Meanwhile, one week after Ghana reopened its schools for resumption for some final year students in junior and senior high schools and tertiary institutions, a teacher, his wife, and six other students of Accra Girls Senior High School (AGISS) tested positive for COVID-19 Ghanaweb reported on Tuesday morning.

Patrick Kuma Aboagye, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Professor Kwasi Opoku-Agyemang, Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) confirmed the development in a joint statement.

“As of 6 July 2020, six students, a teacher, and spouse have been confirmed as positive for COVID-19 in Accra Girls Senior High School.”

President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana had in his 10th address to the nation announced the reopening of schools for only final year students of Junior High School, Senior High School, and tertiary institutions.

The Nigerian government on June 30, had announced the reopening schools for students in graduating classes as part of its measures for the next phase of easing lockdown restrictions, those that followed the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

Also following the announcement, Emeka Nwajuiba, the Minister of State for Education disclosed on Monday that the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) examination for senior secondary students is to hold from August 4 to September 5, with NECO following immediately.

 

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