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Editor's Picks - Local News - October 7, 2020

COVID-19 KENYA, UNICEF Welcomes Reopening Of Schools

UNICEF has welcomed the Ministry of Education’s announcement that schools in Kenya will reopen from 12 October, starting with Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4. The closure of schools in March this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interrupted learning for over 17 million students who missed more than six months of formal education.

“UNICEF welcomes the phased reopening of schools in Kenya,” Maniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative to Kenya, said. “We know that that the longer children are out of school, the greater the risk that the poorest among them will never return. They may be sent off to work, married off too early, or face other risks that can curb their development and well-being.”

UNICEF urged parents to bring children back to school as their classes reopen and to continue supporting their learning.

“As part of the UN family, UNICEF reaffirms its commitment to supporting the Government of Kenya during this unprecedented and challenging time,” Zaman said.

“As children return to school, we all need to come together to ensure that this transition is smooth for the learners, teachers, and the wider school community. In addition to supporting water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools, we will work with partners to provide parents with the reliable and accurate information they need. Finally, we hope that soon all learners can be safely back in school. ”

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha announced the dates for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations will start on March 22, 2021 and end on March 24, 2021, while KCSE exams will start on March 25, 2021 and end on April 16, 2021.

All schools will be required to strictly adhere to COVID-19 containment protocols and guidelines, among them mandatory use of face masks, monitoring of body temperature and observance of high levels of hygiene.

“Although physical distancing will remain a challenge, it should not be used as a bottleneck to keep any child away from school,” Magoha said.

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