Government says Universities, Colleges to reopen in January 2021; few have Covid-19 preventive measures

Education CS Prof George Magoha

All Universities and Colleges are set to continue with their virtual learning, exams and virtual graduations after the government postponed the phased reopening for face to face sessions to January 2021 due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. Universities and Colleges had been allowed to reopen gradually in September this year, if they had adhered to the Covid-19 infection prevention guidelines, with only learning in Primary and Secondary Schools pushed to next year. However, stakeholders in the Education Ministry have decided to push face to face sessions in higher learning institutions further. Speaking to the press on Thursday, Education CS Prof George Magoha said the current Covid-19 situation has kept worsening, with and average of 600 daily cases being recorded in Kenya in the past week.

He said a survey of higher learning institutions showed the level of unpreparedness, “A survey of all Teacher Training Colleges, Universities and TVET institutions has shown that few of them have put in lace measures to comply with the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 protocols that can guarantee safety of staff and learners once they reopen.” He said a robust multi-sectoral approach will be employed to step up preparedness for reopening in compliance with Ministry of Health protocols on mitigating the Covid-19 effects. He said Universities should seek to undertake virtual orientation of first year students, with successful processes already noted at KCA University in May 2020 and Dedan Kimathi University in June-July 2020.

The CS added that online learning for university students will be supported by supporting HELB to facilitate them for acquisition of online learning facilities and resources, adding that a rigorous programme is in place to monitor the Covid-19 situation in Kenya and will keep informing the country on the best steps to take as pertains the education sector.