Ruto Postpones Reopening Of All Schools

Schools were meant to reopen on Monday, May 6, having been postponed initially on Monday, May 29. 

Ruto Postpones Reopening Of All Schools
President William Ruto speaking during the official opening of Bunge Tower in Nairobi on April 25, 2024. /AARON CHERUIYOT

President William Ruto has announced that the reopening of schools for the second term has been postponed until further notice.

The Head of State was speaking on Friday, May 3 at State House, Nairobi where he directed the Ministry of Education to postpone the school reopening.

"The Ministry of Education is directed to postpone the dates of reopening of all schools in the country for the second term until further notice," he announced.

"Members of Parliament are requested to re-organize their CDF allocations to prioritise the reconstruction of school infrastructure that has been damaged as a result of the floods

Schools were meant to reopen on Monday, May 6, having been postponed initially on Monday, May 29 owing to the flooding crisis in the country.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu during the release of 2024 Form one placement results at Lenana School on December 18, 2023. /MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu had earlier insisted that the schools be opened on Monday.

According to a circular dated Thursday, May 2, the CS asked parents to ensure children arrive at school on time just as the institutions work to keep the learners safe amid the ongoing heavy rains and flooding.

"Ahead of the schools opening on May 6th, 2024... the prevailing weather conditions pose accessibility challenges due to flash floods, swollen rivers and landslides thus affecting the transport system for learners to and from school. Parents are, therefore, required to ensure that their children safely report to school on time," Machogu stated.

"All heads of institutions, field education officers, parents and stakeholders are urged to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of learners, teachers and school community guided by the Meteorological Department weather forecast reports released from time to time."

However, the Ministry said that some of the schools that have been gravely damaged by floods and their infrastructure destroyed will remain closed as learning may not take place.

Machogu argued that some of the sanitation facilities may have been affected and therefore may pose health risks to students.

"In some cases, the school infrastructure may be unsafe for use by learners thereby affecting their readiness to resume learning... This poses a health risk due to contamination of water sources, which may lead to an outbreak of waterborne diseases. BOMS, headteachers and principals are directed that students and staff should not be hosted in life-threatening buildings," Machogu noted.

As part of the measures by the government to guarantee the safety of learners, CS Machogu noted that Education officials had been tasked to come up with mitigation ways on how to facilitate learning and safer accessibility to institutions.

Since many schools are currently hosting people displaced by rains, Machogu ordered field education officers to work with local government officials to provide alternative accommodation for learners.

Education officials were also directed to oversee resource sharing among neighbouring institutions for the learning activities to continue without disruptions.

Consequently, school Boards of Management (BoMs) have been directed to assess the situation of the impact of the floods, convene urgent meetings and submit reports to the County Education Boards (CEBs) who would do the same and report to the CS.

Floods affecting Mathare slums on April 24, 2024. /RACHAEL MWIKALI