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UoN rules out on-campus learning until next year

The University of Nairobi (UoN) Vice Chancellor Prof Kiama Gitahi has said that the learning institution will remain closed until 2021.

Prof Gitahi said the university senate had decided not to have any on-campus learning until next year as they help fight the spread of Covid-19.

PHASED REOPENING

The Vice Chancellor said that there will be no on campus learning despite an advisory by the Ministry of Education to universities, colleges and technical and vocational institutions to make plans for phased reopening.

Prof Kiama said regular learning would resume after being advised by experts on the status of Covid-19 in the institution.

“The University of Nairobi, as you recognise, is at the epicenter of Covid-19, and we are responsible people to observe how the situation is unfolding and only allow on-campus learning when we have been advised by the experts that it’s safe to do so,” said Prof Kiama.

This means that students who will be joining the university for the first time will be admitted online and resume their classes once they have registered.

VIRTUAL GRADUATION

The first year students were scheduled to start reporting from August 30.

The graduation ceremony scheduled to take place on September 25 this year will also be done virtually.

Prof Kiama added that sanitisers will not curb the spread of the virus as there are more than 60,000 students at the institution of higher learning.

“By Saturday we had 21 cases of positive staff and they are increasing… we’ve lost others and it’s a fact… UoN has over 65,000 students who live in all parts of Nairobi. You cannot tell us that putting sanitizer in the hostels will help… until we are advised by experts…we do not think will reopen anytime soon,” said Prof Kiama.

REOPENING PLANS

The Vice Chancellor said the expected reopening will be impossible as cases are likely to peak in November according to the Ministry of Health experts.

On Friday, the institution said that at least four members of staff at the university have lost their lives due to Covid-19 related issues with several others in isolation after turning positive. This is despite the university premises remaining closed for students and majority of the staff.

In a circular to Vice Chancellors, the Ministry of Education directed universities to come up with reopening plans for their institutions.

In the plans, the universities were asked to ensure that provision of the minimum requirements for prevention of Covid-19 transmission is provided.