NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha Monday asked school head to mobilize additional buses to ferry students to designated drop-off points as schools closed in part of measures to forestall the spread of coronavirus.
Prof Magoha told principals who encounter a shortage of vehicles to reach out to neighbouring day schools for additional buses and engage National Transport Safety Authority-registered operators to ensure students are ferried to designated points from where their parents and guardians will pick then.
The CS urged National Government Administration officials to monitor any unattended learners at designated points with schools expected to have released all learners by Wednesday, March 18.
“Schools should make arrangements to use school buses to ferry learners to their homes or nearest designated drop-off points which must be within proximate distance to be picked by their parents. All school buses belonging to day schools should also be mobilized for the purpose,” Prof Magoha directed in a circular issued on Monday.
The education ministry also directed school heads to ensure the buses, especially public service vehicles, are cleaned and sanitized and that they strictly ferry learners.
Prof Magoha also urged school heads to manage the release of students form their institution in a manner that minimized the risk of transmitting the virus that has so far been detected in three patients who are quarantined in Nairobi.
He said the schools have until Wednesday to ensure all learners have left the institutions.
“Boarding institutions have between Tuesday March 17 and Wednesday March 18 to ensure that their learners are released from learning institutions to their homes in an orderly manner that must ensure adequate social distancing to limit the potential of any exposure to the COVID-19,” the circular copied to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiangi (Interior), Mutahi Kagwe (Health), and Teacher Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia read in part.
School managers across the country had started effecting a government directive ordering the closure of schools for two weeks in measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Alliance Girls High School was among public secondary schools which notified parents and guardians to pick their children from school on Monday in compliance with the directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday.
Makini Schools, a private education institution offering pre-school, primary and secondary education also notified parents of a closure.
“Following the government directive issued today, all Makini Schools will be closed as of tomorrow Monday, March 16 as we wait for further direction,” a text message sent to a parent read in part.
The school indicated plans were underway to roll out an alternative distance learning module.
“The school is making arrangements for alternative/distance learning and this will be communicated once put into place,” the school said.
Public day secondary schools also suspended learning on Monday with students expected to remain at home.
The closure of schools was among additional measures undertaken after Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe announced two people who traveled in the same plane the first patient who tested positive for coronavirus had tested positive.
The 27-year-old lady who first tested positive had traveled back from the United States via London.
The global pandemic which has killed over 6,000 and infected over 159,000 has now spread to 25 African countries.