Press Release – Memorandum to Education Committee
May 22, 2020
PEG SCHOOL REOPENING ON PANDEMIC CONTROL, NOT CALENDAR DATES
Jeremiah 9: 21
Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares.
The National Council of Churches of Kenya has today submitted to the National Covid-19 Education Response Committee a Memorandum with recommendations on the resumption of learning and reopening of schools and other learning institutions.
In her Memorandum, the NCCK emphasizes that schools were closed at the behest of the Ministry of Health due to the circumstances that were obtaining in the country. For this reason, the schools and other institutions should only be reopened when there is specific guidance from the Ministry of Health that the Covid-19 pandemic has been controlled and managed and therefore no longer a threat to the education ecosystem.
Recognizing the distinction between learning and schooling, the NCCK recommended that the funds the government allocates to schools for learners be invested in establishment of a nationwide E-Learning capacities that provide equal access to learners of all backgrounds. This would enable the country resume learning in September 2020, while reopening of schools would wait for guidance from the Ministry of Health.
To enhance the E-Learning capacity in the nation, the NCCK recommended nationwide retraining of teachers, provision of free E-Learning content to all learners, establishment and equipping of community resource centers, and a revisiting of the proposal to provide laptops to all learners.
The NCCK urged the Ministry of Education to stop assuring Kenyans that the Form Four and Class Eight national examinations are still on schedule when the prevailing situation is implying this will not be the case.
Prior to reopening of schools, the NCCK noted that heavy investment will require to be made which will include equipping all schools with capacity to test all learners, teachers and non teaching staff; providing all learners with masks; providing adequate space for learners to observe required distancing in class, dormitories and playgrounds; providing running water and other sanitation facilities in all schools, Availing qualified medical personnel in the schools to handle emergencies; and Disinfecting / fumigating all learning institutions.
Like all Kenyans, the NCCK is looking forward to the reopening of schools, churches and other social institutions at a time when such will not put the nation at a risk of perpetuating the Covid-19 pandemic.
On their part, the NCCK continues to pray for the nation as guided by the scripture in 2 Chronicles 7: 13 – 14:
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Signed on this 22nd day of May 2020 at Jumuia Place, Nairobi.
Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui