Chuka University gets green light to reopen next month
Chuka University in Tharaka-Nithi County will be the first higher leaning institution in the country to reopen and resume lessons next month after receiving the green light from the Ministry of Education.
The university is now set to reopen after meeting the minimum requirements for the safety of its students against Covid-19.
Speaking at the institution on Wednesday, University Education and Research Principal Secretary Ambassador Simon Nabukwesi said that the ministry is satisfied with the guidelines the university has followed ahead of reopening.
The PS, who toured the university on Tuesday, said the university is set to resume its academic sessions on August 3 with postgraduate students in their final academic year being given priority as studies resume.
Nabukwesi said that final-year Master’s and PhD students will be allowed to prepare for their exams which will be sat before September 2020.
“Once the finalist students have completed their studies, they will create space for those reporting in September,” said Nabukwesi.
This, however, applies to universities that would have obtained clearance from the Ministry of Education after complying with Covid-19 safety guidelines.
He further said officers from the Education and Health Ministries will physically inspect every university to ensure that they do not expose learners and the other populations to the virus.
Universities are expected to have adequate supplies of face masks, sanitisers, and running water, as well as enough facilities to ensure social distancing.
Chuka University Vice-Chancellor Erastus Njoka welcomed the Ministry’s approval, saying that his institution is doing its best to meet the requirements for reopening.
He said the university will produce alcohol-based sanitisers and liquid hand washing soap for use by the students and even the neighbouring community.
Last month, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha directed the Vice Chancellors and Principals of Universities to come up with reopening plans for their institutions.
In the plan, the universities were asked to develop prevention protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus as the government plans to reopen learning institutions in September.
The minimum requirements upon reopening have been outlined as clean running water and soap for hand washing or hand sanitizer.
The institutions will also be required to sanitise often-touched objects such as door knobs, light switches and stair railings with disinfectant.
Lecture halls and common spaces will also be required to have adequate space for social distancing.
Other requirements are mandatory use of face masks or shields for learners, lecturers and non-teaching staff.
Universities will also be required to have thermal guns for monitoring the temperatures of all persons entering the intuitions and specific public spaces on campus.