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High Court Orders Magoha To Reopen Schools Within 60 Days

Education Cabinet Secretary, Professor George Magoha has been ordered by the high court to reopen all schools within 60 days.  High Court judge, James Makau faulted the education CS for closing schools abruptly, terming the move unlawful. Makau directed Magoha to put in place safety measures to protect learners.

This ruling came after Joseph Aura, a parent, had sued the ministry of education for unconstitutionally continuing to keep children at home through indefinite closure of schools yet most countries worst hit by Covid-19 had reopened schools. The parent claimed that his three children had suffered untold psychological torture for unreasonably staying longer at home.

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“The court finds that the open-ended closure and opening of schools without proper guidelines and consultations was a violation of children’s right to education. The CS is ordered to immediately put in place measures to ensure the resumption of face-to-face learning within 60 days,” stated Justice Makau in his ruling.

Makau stressed that continued schools’ closure is causing unbearable psychological harm and torture to learners; and that the Education ministry, led by Magoha,  must put in place safety measures to protect the learners upon the January resumption of learning.

Makau rejected Magoha’s earlier intentions of introducing community-based learning. Instead, he directed the CS to collaborate with education stakeholders and parents, to develop safety measures which can prevent the spread of Covid-19 in learning institutions.

Justice Makau termed the community-based learning, which was proposed by Magoha and the Teachers Service Commission on 30th July 2020 as unconstitutional. There was no public participation from the National Education Boards, County Education Boards and parents’ association.

In his ruling, Makau stated that Magoha would have consulted with education stakeholders before prolonging the closure of schools, so that children’s learning time is not lost.

“All children have a right to life and it should be the responsibility of the government to ensure their survival and development are taken care of,” stated Makau.

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