President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Cabinet had to embrace Education CS George Magoha’s crash program, commencing the start of the phased reopening of Kenyan schools.
On Tuesday, Prof. George Magoha directed Form Four, Class Eight and Grade Four, students to report to classes on October 12.
“The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) will start on March 22, 2021, and end on March 24, 2021. The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams will follow, starting on March 25, 2021, and ending on April 16, 2021,” he said in a statement.
The Cabinet Secretary for Education was forced to fall back to an early reopening of primary and secondary schools to avoid any potential crisis that would occur in the coming years.
First and foremost, reopening schools in January 2021 would have made students repeat classes. This would have made the government incur extra cost to plan and may make new strategies.
Secondly, the transition of Grade Four students in 2022 would have been hampered. Grade Four are pioneers of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) and are poised to join Junior Secondary School after completing Grade Six.
In the same year, Class Seven students under the old 8-4-4 system would also be joining Form One. The Cabinet pushed at avoiding double intake in High Schools.
Thirdly, the head of state was well informed on the challenges facing students at home, ranging from increased hopelessness among learners, increasing cases of pregnancies, drug abuse, forced marriages, female genital mutilations and child labour.
The Constitution dictates that the Ministry would always protect students from such vices.
With the economy nearing a full reopening, resumption of activity in bars and clubs also placed students at risk and affected their safety at homes.