No KCPE, KCSE exams in 2020 as children to stay longer at home, Magoha announces

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 7 Jul, 2020 12:24 | 2 mins read
Prof George Magoha
Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, at a past function. [PHOTO | FILE]
Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, at a past function. PHOTO | FILE

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha says the Ministry in consultation with relevant stakeholders have resorted to push back the 2020 Academic Calendar to January 2021.

Addressing journalists at the KICD Headquarters in Nairobi on Tuesday, July 7, the minister said basic learning institutions will reopen in January 2021.

Prof. Magoha further said that the 2020 KCPE exams will be held “later in 2021”.

The minister, however, remained silent on the fate of KCSE exams, which are assumed will also be held in 2021.

Prof. Magoha directed the Kenya National Examinations Council to republish new examination dates.

“Stakeholders have shelved the initial proposal to reopen basic learning institutions in September for Standard Eight and Form Four candidate classes,” said Magoha.

“If there will be two Form One classes in 2021 academic year, the country will experience very severe equity challenges, when only two basic institution classes (Class Eight and Form Four) reopen, while all the other children lose the year.

“Although the 2020 Form Four Class would have left, the total number of candidature in Form Four is 752, 000 as compared to approximately 1.2 million, which could mean if we had the intention of using the space left by Form Four students, we’ll be having a deficit of 438, 000. Therefore it will be impossible to achieve social distancing. We’ll also be unable to have physical classes for this huge number.

“All learners in Grade 1 to 4, Standard 5 to 7 and Form 1 to 3, will remain in their current classes in 2021. Therefore, there shall be no KCPE exams in later 2021 because it would be impossible for the students to cover the syllabus of 5 terms in one year,” said Magoha.

Declaring the 2020 school academic calendar lost due to COVID-19, the CS said the decision was arrived at after factoring in the contribution of Education stakeholders, among them parents, who said they “won’t release their children to resume studies until the COVID-19 curve is flattened”.

“Over 90 per cent of parents have expressed reservations of sending back their children to school until the [COVID-19] curve flattens. Faced with this uncertain environment, stakeholders have resolved to reopen all basic institutions in January [2021] based on the assumption that the curve would have flattened, or we would have known a little more about this virus,” said Magoha, revealing that if needs be, the Ministry will revisit the academic calendar matter, particularly when the COVID-19 infections pattern changes.

The minister directed vocational training colleges to reopen in September, though with the disclaimer that they “must observe COVID-19 safety guidelines on social distancing and hygiene”.

Universities will be reopened on a phased model, and each varsity will reopen based on its own merit.