Reopening of schools is proving to be the hardest task for the government. Several attempts of bringing education sector to normality after the COVID-19 pandemic have failed to bear any fruits. In the latest update about opening schools, Education CS prof. Magoha directed that all basic education institutions to remain closed until January 2021. The initial plans of opening schools in September were shaved off because the cases are expected to peak around the same time.

There is yet another twist from the ministry of health concerning the long awaited reopening of schools. The ministry has hinted that primary and secondary schools might not reopen until the Corona Virus Vaccine is found. According to the ministry of health CAS Rashid Aman, it could be unreasonable to allow children back to school when cases are still rising and his ministry doesn’t either except the cases to go down by the stipulated time by education ministry.

Rashid Aman was responding to a question that required an explanation on how the Ministry of Health will be able to test over 300,000 teachers as they plan to reopen schools. He says the Ministry of education might be planning to reopen schools in 2021 but depending on timing and context.

He said “I think we have to look at these in the context of timing as well. As you know very well, the discussions on when education… And I will not speak for education on these, I am just stating what I have seen in the discussion that is out there in the public regarding when to open schools. And it seems that opening schools is a big challenge. I think from the education point of view they are looking at some time in the beginning of next year,”

Rashid Aman agrees that testing over 300,000 teachers will be a big challenge considering country’s current capacity. He said “That why I said timing and context is important because we don’t know where we will be at that time in terms of testing levels. However, I agree with you that testing such a huge number of people at any time, is going to be a very big challenge for us.”

He says they will have discussions with all relevant sectors and ministries to discuss on how the process is likely to be carried out. He says they will have to develop strategies to ensure all students and staff members are safe.

He said “We will of course, be in discussion when it comes to matters of this kind. we will be sitting with relevant sectors and ministries so that we come to a consensus on what is the best approach to be able to make sure that children coming back to school, as well as the teachers who are teaching them and the staff in those schools are safe and protected,”

He continued “And we will have to sit down and come up with workable solution, a workable way of testing. As we have gone along our testing journey too, given the constrains that we have, the cost of the test (and) difficulties of the supply line. We will also be looking at reviewing our own testing strategies.”

Do you think the government has the capacity to test over 300,000 teachers? What about students? If teachers are tested, will all of them get accommodation inside schools?

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