Schools reopen in Kenya amid fluctuating COVID-19 positivity rate
Schools across the country have opened today for the start of the third term after a seven-week holiday. The reopening comes at a time when Kenya is still grappling with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the country has reported over 163,000 cases, with more than 2,800 deaths and at least 111,000 recoveries.
The virus has not spared schools, forcing the Ministry of Health to prioritize mass vaccination of teachers. As of Saturday May 8, 2021, at least 143,525 tutors had received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
In his Labour Day speech, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave learning institutions the greenlight to reopen. A week later, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha was categorical on resumption of classes.
“I wish to affirm that all primary and secondary schools will open on Monday, May 10th, 2021 for the Third Term, which will run to July 16th, 2021,” said Prof. Magoha on May 7th, 2021.
Learners and teachers will be on a crash program after COVID-19 disrupted the school calendar last year. The Government has also given strict instructions to school administrators to adhere to the Ministry of Health guidelines to keep the virus at bay.
Fluctuating positivity rate
Kenya’s COVID-19 positivity dropped to 7.4 percent on Sunday from 12.4 percent on Saturday, according to data from the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC).
The Ministry of Health announced 316 new cases of COVID-19 from a sample size of 4,251, pushing the caseload to 163,554.
Since the start of May, the country’s average positivity rate has stood at 8.9 percent.