Chuka University in Tharaka-Nithi County is the first institution of higher learning in the country to receive a greenlight from the Ministry of Education to resume studies in August.
University Education and Research Principal Secretary Ambassador Simon Nabukwesi said Wednesday that the Ministry was satisfied with the university’s preparedness for resumption of studies, saying Chuka University has “met all requirements set by the Ministry”.
Nabukwesi said the university should resume academic sessions on August 3.
The PS, who had toured the university on Tuesday, July 14, said postgraduate students in their final academic year would be given priority as studies resume in early August.
Nabukwesi said that final-year Master’s and PhD students will be allowed to prepare for their exams which will be sat before September 2020. This, however, applies to universities that would have obtained clearance from the Ministry of Education after complying with COVID-19 safety guidelines.
"Once the finalist students have completed their studies, they will create space for those reporting in September," said Nabukwesi.
The COVID-19 safety requirements set by the Ministry include: providing adequate hygiene products such as hand sanitizers, soap and running water, ensuring that students’ body temperatures are taken before being allowed into university premises, adequate social distancing in classrooms and a spread-out lessons schedule that would allow for decongestion of classrooms.
Nabukwesi said Ministry officials will make impromptu inspections after the resumption of studies to ensure that the guidelines are adhered to.
The PS added that universities have to submit a programme indicating how they plan to accommodate students in phases should they be allowed to resume studies.
Chuka University Vice-Chancellor Erastus Njoka welcomed the Ministry’s approval, saying that his institution is doing its best to meet the requirements for the reopening.
Prof Njoka said the university will produce alcohol-based sanitsers and liquid hand washing soap for use by the students and even the neighbouring community.
He said they have also procured thermo-guns to monitor the temperatures of university students and staff, as well as visitors.