Court to decide whether to reopen schools for rest of learners next month

By Nancy Gitonga On Thu, 29 Oct, 2020 10:28 | 2 mins read
Class Eight pupils at the Bungoma DEB School on Monday, October 12, 2020. PHOTO | JOHN MAKUBA

The High Court will decide the fate of the proposed reopening of schools for the rest of the students next month.

Justice John Makau ruled that he will deliver his judgment on whether to re-open the learning institutions or not on November 19.

While delivering the ruling, the judge said he was not swayed by the Ministry of Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha’s reasons to delay the re-opening of schools since his position keeps shifting.

This is after Prof. Magoha indicated to the court yesterday that other classes will be reopened on November 15.

Magoha informed the court of the decision in a case where a parent by the name Joseph Enock Aura moved to court in August challenging the decision of the state to close schools without complying with the law.

Justice Makau had adjourned the case several times since August 2020, waiting for evidence from CS Magoha on the reasons for closure, spread, testing, and fatalities among school enrolled children.

The court had granted the Attorney-General’s State Counsel Momanyi Moimbo’s repeated requests for adjournments to enable him to file the evidence.

Instead, he chose to submit an affidavit by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe presented in another constitutional petition and unrelated to the case on reopening of schools.

The Attorney-General’s failure to file any current documents on the Covid-19 allegations incensed the petitioner Aura, who told the court that the Kagwe seemed averse to filing anything under oath to back up his claims which the court could rely on.

Through Lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, the petitioner pointed out that Kagwe had not cited medical evidence in Kenya to support the Covid-19 claims.

Aura moved to court in August on claims that the indefinite closure of schools was affecting children, yet the government had failed to put in place measures to address the issue since the institutions were closed in March.

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