The National Covid-19 Education Response team led by Dr Sarah Ruto has issued a one-week window for parents to propose school reopening dates.

The committee formed by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Wednesday, May 13 has urged stakeholders and the public to submit written proposals to its secretariat on or before Friday, May 22.

“They have to do so in reference for the basic education sub-sector,” Ruto stated on Thursday, May 14.

Those submitting the proposals are required to identify ways of enforcing preventive measures when schools reopen.

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The committee also expects submissions on how to reorganise the school calendar, discuss the fate of boarding schools and how the poor will access education and the health and safety measures for schools.

These are among the issues CS Magoha wants the committee to table solutions to him.

On Wednesday, May 13, the World Health Organisation warned that the virus may stay for long, shifting from a pandemic to an endemic and most countries are trying to hatch ways to live with the virus.

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A feature by Citizen TV added that as the idea of school resumption takes shape, parents are concerned with how social distancing will be enforced.

Among questions raised are how many learners will be allowed in a class? Will the students learn in shifts?

The Dr Sarah Ruto led committee is looking at ways in which learning can be conducted in shifts, with students attending schools on alternative days.

For the students who use school buses, the Ministry of Health’s guideline on only allowing 60% passengers in the buses will be considered.

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Another concern on the table is how teachers above 58 years and those with pre-existing conditions will be protected, as they are among the most vulnerable.

Countries that have reopened schools have taken drastic measures such as abolishing school assemblies, limiting sports participation, while some school meetings have been abolished.

Written proposals are to be submitted to the Secretariat, National Covid-19 Education Response Committee. They can be forwarded to covid19erc@kicd.ac.ke or addressed to P.O. Box 30231-00100, Nairobi.

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