MoE issues guidelines for safe reopening of schools amidst threats of floods

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu. The ministry has given guidelines on safe reopening of schools for Term 2.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has issued new guidelines towards safe reopening of schools for second term on Monday May 6, 2024.

Urging all school heads, field education officers, parents and stakeholders to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of learners, he said teachers and school community will be guided by the Meteorological Department’s weather reports which will be released from time to time.

In a circular addressed to all regional, county and sub-county Directors of Education dated May 2, 2024, Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu directed the field education officers to come up with mitigation measures for schools which have been affected by floods so that learning is not disrupted.

These mitigation measures include resource sharing among neighbouring schools and use of multi-grade and multi-shift model of providing education where applicable and where it is impossible for learning to continue in the most severely affected institutions.

Boards of Management (BoMs) have been advised to temporarily keep the school(s) closed until the situation improves.

In this case, the managements of the said schools have been advised to come up with strategies to recover lost time when learning resumes.

For cases where schools have infrastructure like classes which have been damaged by the floods, that is, they are either submerged or have totally collapsed, the ministry has directed that such schools should not host learners and staff since it will pose a health and life threat to them.

In this regard, Machogu has now directed all BoMs to convene meetings and submit reports to the County Education Board (CEB) not later than May 8, 2024 detailing the status of their respective schools, including the damages incurred and the mitigation measures put in place for conducive learning.

After receiving the reports, CEBs have been directed to convene urgent meetings to assess the situation and submit comprehensive reports to the CS not later than May 10, 2024.

The Regional Directors of Education (RDEs) have been instructed to continually provide updates in their respective areas of jurisdiction on the status of learning institutions, in particular on the safe school opening and data of learners not in school.

The school heads on the other hand have been instructed to ensure they report the number of learners not in school due to inaccessibility, bad weather conditions, family’s livelihoods, and those whose families are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) because of the ongoing heavy rains.

For schools hosting the IDPs who have been displaced from their homes, Machogu has directed the education field officers working in such areas to liaise with the local National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) to immediately identify alternative accommodation for the affected persons to ensure the facilities are available for normal learning activities.

“The prevailing weather conditions pose accessibility challenges due to flash floods, swollen rivers and landslides thus affecting the transport system for learners to and from school. Parents are, therefore, required to ensure that their children safely report to school on time,” said Machogu in the circular.

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By our reporter

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Education News - Newspaper Vol 281