Education Secretary George Magoha has formed a 10 member advisory team dubbed the COVID-19 Education Response Committee to advise on modalities of opening schools following the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a statement released on Tuesday by the ministry of education, the advisory team will be tasked to find ways to restore normalcy in the academic calendar of basic education. The Sarah Ruto-led team will commence work immediately.
Sarah Ruto, the chairperson of the advisory team, is the current chairperson of the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development
Other members of the advisory team include: Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association Chairperson Nicholas Gathemia, Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association Chairperson Indimuli Kahi, Kenya Parents Association Chairperson Nicholas Maiyo and Kenya Private Schools Association CEO Peter Ndoro.
Other members of the team include: Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Augustine Muthigani, National Council of Churches of Kenya’s Nelson Makanda, Kenya Special Schools Heads Association Chairperson Peter Sitienei, Muslim Education Council’s Sheikh Munawar Khan, and Kenya Association for Independent International Schools’ Jane Mwangi.
The team was unveiled at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) headquarters in Nairobi on Tuesday, May 12 and will have it’s Secretariat based at the same location.
The team has been tasked to do, among other things:
- Advise the Cabinet Secretary on the reopening of Basic Education institutions,
- Review and re-organise the school calendar as part of the Covid-19 post-recovery strategy as well as to
- Document all Covid-19 related matters, lessons learned and recommendations for future preparedness among others.
The advisory team will also be tasked to, “identify institutions that may have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and advise on mitigation and recovery measures.”
All public and private schools in Kenya were closed after the first case of COVID-19 was reported and were scheduled to re-open in May for the second term. The government however extended the holidays by one month due to the rising cases of COVID-19 infections in Kenya.
The education ministry set up measures to reduce the effects of the closure such as introduction of online learning which was boosted by the president launching Google loon balloons to aid in getting internet to the rural areas.