All schools in Kenya to reopen on January 4
FILE PHOTO: A pupil reads a book at State House Primary School in Nairobi, capital of Kenya. /Xinhua

FILE PHOTO: A pupil reads a book at State House Primary School in Nairobi, capital of Kenya. /Xinhua

All schools in Kenya will reopen in January 4 after nearly a year of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, a government official said on Monday.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced the order following a meeting with education stakeholders to deliberate the current preparedness of full resumption for all learners.

The Kenyan government began gradually reopening schools in the country in October since schools countrywide were shut in March.

"All schools will reopen fully on the fourth of January 2021. This will apply to PP1 and 2, Grade 1, 2 and 3, Class 5, 6 and 7 and Form 1, 2 and 3 learners," Magoha said.

The reopening of schools includes international schools, which will also reopen on the same date for all levels of learners.

The reopening of schools will mark the beginning of the second term of the school calendar, and it will end on March 19.

All learners, with the exception of Class 8 and Form 4, will then have a seven-week holiday to allow primary and secondary school candidates to sit for their exams.

Students in Grade 4 and incoming Form One students will then remain at home as other learners complete the third term of the school calendar.

Magoha reiterated the government's pledge to maintain a safe environment for students and teachers.

"I wish to assure the country that the government is determined to ensure a safe reopening and learning of our schools. In doing so, we are drawing important lessons from the partial reopening that has taken place since October. We are confident that we will remain on the right trajectory to finding the winning formula that will ensure our learning institutions are safe for our learners and teachers," Magoha said.

The government's announcement comes in the wake of concerns about rising COVID-19 cases across the country.

A number of learning institutions across the country have also reported cases of students and/or teachers testing positive for COVID-19 prompting some of them to close.

On Sunday, at least 38 Form Four students of Kabarnet Boys High School in Baringo County tested positive for COVID-19, a county official said.

(With input from Ministry of Education-Kenya)