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State to make 24m masks for schools ahead of reopening

Education CS George Magoha says the government has tasked a number of agencies to ensure learners are safe from contracting coronavirus when schools resume in September.

Speaking on Monday after inspecting the progress of manufacturing face masks for learners at Rivatex East Africa in Eldoret, the Education CS said 24 million pieces will be delivered to schools in August if the schools are to be reopened in September.

“Once we agree on the prototype, then we will get the pricing so that when schools open in September, face masks will be in the institutions by mid-August as per the presidential directive,” Prof Magoha said.

He also said that the ministry had engaged five face mask manufactures, including the National Youth Service (NYS).

Earlier this month, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that formal learning in all levels of education will resume from September 2020.

In his address to the nation from State House, Nairobi, the president said he had directed the Ministry of Education in liaison with Ministry of Health to come up with modalities that will result in students resuming studies beginning September 2020.

The Head of State directed the Education Ministry to publish the new academic calendar by mid-August.

Appearing before Senate Education Committee recently, Magoha said reducing contact by having fewer pupils in schools at a time is an option. This means that the ministry could roll out a shift system, with only a fraction of learners allowed to be in school at any given time.

“Some schools do not have enough space to allow redistribution of learners to the recommended two-metres rule in and out of class,” they say.