The Government has announced that it has changed Term Three school reopening dates from August 26 to September 2, 2019, to allow for the National Population and Housing Census exercise to go on without any hitch.
The announcement made in a letter dated August 8, and addressed to the Teachers’ Service Commission, Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association and Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association, was signed by Education PS Dr Belio Kipsang.
"For the forthcoming census to be successful, it is the desire of the National Bureau of Statistics that there be minimum movements of the population so that they may get as many people as possible in conventional households.
"It is therefore important that we reschedule the opening date for Term 3, 2019 to start on 2nd September, 2019 and end on 25th October, 2019. This will enhance the data quality as all the students will be captured," said PS Kipsang.
Despite the opening date for Term Three studies being pushed back by a week, the closing date wasn't changed.
The National Census begins on the night of August 24 and ends on August 31.
The decision by the Ministry of Education to postpone the schools' reopening date comes two days after Treasury Acting minister, Ukur Yatani, revealed that he had reached out to his Education counterpart, Prof. George Magoha, to have the studies-resumption date changed.
“We are still requesting the Ministry of Education to postpone school re-opening dates. This is because we wiil need one more week to undertake the [counting] exercise. I request schools to be reopened from August 31,” Yatani told the Senate Labour Committee on Wednesday, August 7, when he appeared before it as the acting Finance and Planning CS.
During his appearance before the Senate committee, Yatani also hinted that Monday, August 26, could be a public holiday to give Kenyans ample time to participate in the population and housing census.
“August 26 should be declared a public holiday for us to be able to fully enumerate the exercise,” said Yatani.
Yatani was accompanied to the session by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director General Zachary Mwangi Chege.
About 170,000 enumerators and supervisors have been recruited to work in this year’s Housing and Population Census.
For the first time, all the data required for the census will be captured electronically through a tablet computer. The questions are being loaded on to the gadget and the whole enumeration process will, therefore, be paperless.