• Magoha says Health and Education ministries are considering the types and quality of masks produced for younger children and those in upper classes.
• He says if schools reopen in September, approved manufacturers will be asked to supply the masks by mid-August.
Education CS George Magoha said on Monday more than 22 million masks will be supplied to schools ahead of reopening to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking at Rivatex in Eldoret, Magoha said the Education and Health ministries are considering the types and quality of masks that will be produced for younger children and those in upper classes.
If schools are to reopen in September, then approved manufacturers will be asked to supply the masks by mid-August. He said prototype masks produced by NYS are being considered by experts.
Magoha led a ministry team to tour the Rivatex firm in Eldoret, which is producing 80,000 masks daily.
“If the schools reopen in September, then we will have the manufacturers ensure the masks are in schools by mid-August,” Magoha said. He said Rivatex, NYS and Kitui textile firms will be used to produce masks.
He said the ministry and experts were still debating if pre-primary 1 and 2 children will be masked like the others.
“That debate is ongoing and we will reach a consensus. Perhaps it may not be wise to mask them,” Magoha said.
CS Magoha met officials of the Rivatex and Moi University, which owns the factory, and discussed the masks production. He was with PS Belio Kipsang.
He said they were also still debating if all teachers will be tested for Covid-19 before they return to schools.
The CS said the major bottleneck with regard to reopening schools was ensuring smooth transition, especially in the CBC classes Grades 4 to 5.
He said preparations were advanced and the ministry had already vetted the required books.
“Soon we will announce which publishers will produce which books and the deadlines for the books to be supplied before the end of September,” Mahoha said.
The books for Grade 5 will have been supplied by then, he said.
Magoha said the ministry was still considering the best type of masks for children and teachers in special schools, representing about one per cent of the population.
The CS said although the government was aware teachers in private schools were suffering for lack of pay due to closure, the government is unable to intervene for lack of resources.
He also reiterated his position that figures on high pregnancy rates among schoolgirls during the Covid-19, seemed exaggerated and “obnoxious”.
“We are following up on that and will give the correct information,” Magoha said. He said pornographic websites should be banned as they hurt the morals of young people.
(Edited by V. Graham)