President Ruto postpones schools reopening indefinitely due to flooding

President William Ruto

President William Ruto at State House Nairobi on May 3, 2024. 

Photo credit: PCS

Children will have to stay at home longer after President William Ruto directed the Ministry of Education to postpone school reopening for the second term until further notice due to the ongoing flood situation, marking the second delay.

The schools were set to reopen on Monday this week before this was postponed to May 6.

President Ruto: Reopening of schools postponed until further notice

While explaining the postponement in his address to the nation Friday, the President said that heavy rains and subsequent flooding have so far claimed the lives of 210 people. He noted that projections by the Meteorological indicate that the rains will increase in intensity. 

Dr Ruto's directive contradicts a circular sent by the Ministry of Education just three hours earlier, which issued guidance to parents, Education officials and institutions ahead of the scheduled reopening on Monday. 

The circular, signed by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, had indicated that parents and school management would be responsible for the safety of learners when schools reopen for the second term.

CS Machogu said the rains have had devastating effects on schools, including damaging infrastructure, submerging buildings and sanitation facilities, and destroying learning and teaching materials.

The chair of the National Parents Association, Silas Obuhatsa, had urged caution on reopening of schools.

“Before then, parents should visit schools in the company of boards of management (BoM) and heads of the institutions to carry out assessment and confirm that they are safe for opening. If according to their assessment, the conditions cannot allow the reopening, learners should stay at home until it's safe,” he said.

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