PETER AMINGA MAKES PROPOSAL FOR PHASED REOPENING OF SCHOOLS ON K24 TV. HERE ARE TGE DETAILS.

PROF GEORGE MAGOHA,
CABINET SECRETARY,
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION,
JOGOO HOUSE ‘B’
HARAMBEE AVE
NAIROBI

RE: PROPOSAL FOR PHASED RE-OPENING OF SCHOOLS

SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL

*EXAM CANDIDATES (CLASS 8 & FORM 4) TO REPORT TO SCHOOL ON MONDAY 26TH OCTOBER, 2020 (subject to Ministry of Health clearance)
*PRE-SCHOOL/GRADE 1 TO 7 AND FORM 1 TO 3 TO REPEAT 2020 ACADEMIC YEAR AND REPORT ON MONDAY, 4TH JANUARY, 2021
*2020 KCPE EXAMS TO TAKE PLACE FROM TUESDAY, 30TH MARCH TO THURSDAY 1ST APRIL, 2021 (Subject to KNEC logistics)
*2020 KCSE EXAMS TO TAKE PLACE FROM TUESDAY, 6TH APRIL TO FRIDAY, 30TH APRIL, 2021 (Subject to KNEC logistics)
*PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS TO ATTEND SCHOOL ON ALTERNATE DAYS (Lower grades-Tuesdays and Thursdays, Upper grades-Monday, Wednesday, Fridays, except grades 7 and 8 on Mondays to Fridays)
*SECONDARY BOARDING SCHOOL STUDENTS TO ATTEND CLASSES ON SHIFT (MORNING AND AFTERNOON/EVENING) (Form 1 and 2-Morning, Form 3 and 4-Afternoon/evening)
*SECONDARY DAY SCHOOL STUDENTS TO ATTEND ON ALTERNATE DAYS (Form 1 and 2 on Tuesdays & Thursdays, Form 3 on Monday, Wednesday, Fridays, Form 4 from Monday to Friday)

THE PROPOSAL

I first wish to thank you for the good job you have done in running the Education sector even before the Covid-19 crisis.
It is already well documented that Covid-19 pandemic is worst health/social/economic crisis to face the world since World War II and the worst crisis to face Kenya since independence. It is the duty of all parents to protect their children from the dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic, hence the reason the Government saw it fit to close all schools on 15th, March, 2020 since children are safer at home then in a congested environment.

With the current downward trend in new cases of Covid-19 in Kenya, and pressure on you, sir to recommend to the President to re-open schools, I propose that primary and secondary schools using the 8-4-4 and CBC system be re-opened in phases in a safe manner once the Ministry of Health considers it safe to do so.
Using the Alternative Day System (ADS) (for primary and day secondary schools) and the Shift Learning System (SLS) for boarding secondary schools, re-opening can be achieved safely and at minimal cost, as proposed below.

1.) PHASED RE-OPENING FOR EXAMS CANDIDATES (2020 KCPE & 2020 KCSE)

*25/10/2020-CLASS 8 REPORT TO SCHOOL (TERM 2-2020) FOR 8 WEEKS
*25/10/2020-FORM 4 REPORTS TO SCHOOL
(TERM 2-2020) FOR 8 WEEKS
*18/12/2020-CLASS 8 CLOSE FOR DEC HOLIDAY (2 WEEKS)
*18/12/2020-FORM 4 CLOSE FOR DEC HOLIDAY (2 WEEKS)
*4/1/2021-CLASS 8 REPORT TO SCHOOL FOR 3RD TERM 2020 (12 WEEKS)
*4/1/2021-FORM 4 REPORT TO SCHOOL FOR 3RD TERM 2020 (13 WEEKS)
*30/3/2021-KCPE 2020 STARTS FOR CLASS 8 (3 DAYS)
*1/4/2021-KCPE 2020 ENDS & CLASS 8 EXIT SCHOOL
*6/4/2021-KCSE 2020 STARTS FOR FORM 4 (4 WEEKS)
*30/4/2021-KCSE 2020 ENDS & FORM 4 EXIT SCHOOL
(Note both KCPE and KCSE will take place when schools have closed for April holidays on as per KNEC procedures. Hence all schools must close by Friday, 26th March,2021 and re-open for 2nd Term on Monday, 3rd May, 2021.)

2.) PHASED RE-OPENDING FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL (PRE-SCHOOL/GRADE 1 TO 7)

ALTERNATIVE DAY SYSTEM (ADS) (Only half of school population is present on any single day to allow social distancing)
*4/1/2021-GRADE 4,5,6,7 REPORT FOR 1ST TERM 2021 (+CLASS 8-2020)
(GRADE 4,5,6-TO ATTEND MON, WED, FRI)
(GRADE 7 TO ATTEND MON-FRI + CLASS 8-2020)
*5/1/2021-PRE-SCHOOL/GRADE 1-3 REPORT FOR 1ST TERM 2021
(PRE-SCHOOL/GRADES 1-3 TO ATTEND ON TUES & THUR)
(NOTE: Boarding Primary schools to have only Grades 6,7 & 8 boarding with Grade 6 attending on Mon, Wed & Fri (studying in dorm when not in class). Grade 7 & 8 to attend Mon to Fri).

3.) PHASED RE-OPENING OF DAY SECONDARY SCHOOLS

ALTERNATIVE DAY SYSTEM (ADS) (Only half of school population is present on any single day to allow social distancing)
*4/1/2021-FORM 3 TO REPORT FOR 1ST TERM 2021 (+ FORM 4-2020)
*5/4/2021-FORM 1 & 2 TO REPORT FOR 1ST TERM 2021
(FORM 3 TO ATTEND ON MON, WED, FRI)
(FORM 1 & 2 TO ATTEND TUES & THUR)
(FORM 4-2020 TO ATTEND MON TO FRI)

PHASED RE-OPENING OF BOARDING SCHOOLS (SECONDARY)
SHIFT LEARNING SYSTEM (SLS) (Student attend classes in two shifts to allow social distancing. When not in class expected to be doing prep or revision in dorms, library or in playing field as long as they observe social distancing)
*4/1/2020-FORM 3 REPORT FOR 1ST TERM 2021 (+FORM 4 FOR 3RD TERM 2020)
*5/1/2020-FORM 1 & 2 REPORT FOR 1ST TERM 2021
(SHIFT 1-FORM 1 & 2-6 AM TO 1 PM)
(SHIFT 2-FORM 3 & 4-2 PM TO 10 PM)

HOW HAVING TWO FORM ONEs IN 2021 CAN BE HANDLED

Under this proposal, there will be two From 1 classes, the 2020 KCPE candidates who are expected to report to Form 1 in 2nd Term on 3rd May, 2021 and the 2019 KCPE candidates who had reported for Form 1 in 1st Term 2020 but schools were closed from 16th March due the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 Form 4 class will have left at end of April, 2021 after sitting their KCSE exams, hence it will create space for the 2020 KCPE candidates to join Form 1 on 5th July (subject to KNEC logistics). In order to ensure they cover the full 2021 Form 1 syllabus, the 2020 KCPE candidates (to be called Form 1-2020) will stay for 2 extra weeks in August, 2021 (closing on 20th August, 2021). They will open on 30th August, 2021 and close on 3rd Dec, 2021 (total of 14 weeks). Other grades including Form 1-2019 will follow the Ministry of Education term dates for opening and closing including half-term. (There will be no national exams in November, 2021 due to absence of Class 8 & Form 4).

In January, 2022 both Form 1-2019 and Form 1-2020 will move to Form 2 and be at par (double stream). There will be no Form 1 in 2022 hence social distancing will be guaranteed. This proposal is better than having both 2020 KCPE and 2020 KCSE candidates repeat the whole academic year as it can have negative effects on the candidates and will not create social distancing. Leaners who were to join Grade 1 in 2021 will need to wait another year in Pre-school or stay at home then join Grade 1 in 2022, due to Covid-19 safety issues (small children are poor in social distancing and may find it difficult to wear face mask).

COVID-19 CHECKLIST FOR SCHOOLS IN KENYA BEFORE RE-OPENING (PROPOSAL)

1) School buildings & compound must be cleaned & disinfected, clean water & soap for washing hands & drinking provided. Hand sanitizers to be used at gate & elsewhere.
2) Social distance marks to be indicated in compound & floor to ensure everyone is 2 meters apart, as well as desks, eating tables, etc.
3) Guards at gate to check temperature of ALL persons entering school compound with Thermo-gun. Record of all visitors to be kept plus their contacts.
4) All teachers, office staff, support staff, kitchen staff, etc to undergo Covid-19 test & be issued with valid certificate before re-opening date.
5) Double-decker beds to be turned into single beds & spaced at least 2 meters apart. School Hall can be converted into a dormitory.
6) If needed additional temporary dorms to be constructed, using pre-fabricated materials. Adequate sanitary facilities to be added with running water.
7) One dorm should be converted into an isolation ward to keep students who show symptoms of Covid-19 until they can be tested.
8) All teachers, office staff, support staff, kitchen staff, etc to undergo Covid-19 protocol training & be available in school at least one week before opening date for preparation.
9) Headteacher must ensure supplies of face-masks are adequate so that each learner gets 2 each as per GoK directive.
10) Headteacher must ensure that essential items such as hand-washing soap, disinfectants, cleaning materials, basic medical items, etc are in adequate supply at all times.

COVID-19 CHECKLIST FOR SCHOOLS IN KENYA AFTER REOPENING (PROPOSAL)

1) Learners must line up for temperature checks before entering compound (Bubble) & must wear face mask.
2) Learners to be taken through a Covid-19 orientation lesson on opening day (wearing of masks, social distancing, handwashing, etc)
3) Parents or unauthorised persons not to be allowed into school compound (Bubble) unless cleared by Headteacher & only after temp check & they are wearing face mask.
4) Break & lunch time to be staggered to ensure social distancing. Learners to be warned not to share food & drinks & not leave compound during lunch time.
5) Leaners should not move between classes except for special lessons, i.e. science, music, computer, etc.
6) Boarders on shifts will have break, lunch & supper at different times.
7) Dorms will be divided by shift (Form 1/2 or Form 3/4) with no mixing except for Dorm prefects.
8) Games & other extra-curriculum activities to be restricted but not banned, and where allowed, social distancing should be observed.
9) Boarders not in class expected to sturdy on their own or do assignments in dorms or playfield, observing social distancing.
10) No school assembly & parade allowed. Announcements to be made via PA or inter-comm system.
11) No visiting, prayer & speech days. PTA & AGM should be held online (virtual). Parents not to visit school in person except when dropping or picking up their children.
12) In case of confirmed Covid-19 case, school must be placed on lockdown & await Ministry of Health instructions. Parents should not be allowed to visit or collect children until MoH clearance.
13) School transport (bus & van) must be sanitized before each trip and leaners must be seated so as to ensure social distancing. No collection before 6.30 am as per GoK directive.
14) Each school to form a Covid-19 committee to be chaired by Deputy Headteacher and to do daily inspection to ensure that school is observing Covid-19 protocols.

CONCLUSION

Implementing both the Alternative Day System (ADS) and the Shift Learning System (SLS) to ensure learners are safe from Covid-19 and maintain social distancing. It will save cost in building additional infrastructure (classrooms, dorms, etc) and allow re-opening of schools safely in the shortest time.

The Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the children of Kenya and parents now know the importance of teachers in their lives. Online lessons can never replace face-to-face teaching and we must now trust the teachers to take care of our children and grand-children as we start the journey of recovery from this crisis and return to school.

Let us make each of our 24,000 schools a “Bubble” to protect our over 15 million learners from Covid-19.

Published by MWALIMU Amunga Akhanyalabandu

Passionate about Advocacy on the REAWAKENING teachers in Kenya and reporting on the MULEMBE Nation. Having worked at the Kenya National Union OF TEACHERS in the advocacy department, I will be able to detail and explain about the welfare of teachers and their point of view on socio economic and political matters. Luhyia are the 2nd most populous ethnic group in Kenya. They are blessed with great land, topography, climate, resources and human Resource. We are also keen on Luhya Renaissance is about making the Mulembe People aware of their blessings, appreciating those blessings, defending them and putting them to proper use for the current and future generations.

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