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Kenya: Government opposes plan for mandatory COVID-19 testing of teachers and students

Devdiscourse News Desk | Nairobi | Updated: 06-10-2020 12:31 IST | Created: 06-10-2020 12:31 IST
Kenya: Government opposes plan for mandatory COVID-19 testing of teachers and students
File Photo Image Credit: Facebook (george.magoha.739)

Education PS Belio Kipsang has opposed plans to have teachers and students undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing when schools reopen, according to a news report by Kenyans.co.ke.

Kipsang spoke on Monday, October 5, while leading celebrations on Teachers' Day in Nairobi.

The PS argued that the process would be expensive as the government would be forced to avail testing kits for over 17 million individuals.

"We need over 17 million testing kits. We have over 15 million pupils in primary schools, 160,000 in teachers training colleges and technical institutions, and over 400,000 teachers.

"It will be impossible to take all of them through physical testing," Kipsang stated.

He added that the government would resort to using thermo-guns only to test for temperatures of teachers and students.

On June 23, Education CS George Magoha had hinted at forcing teachers to undergo coronavirus tests. However, the government's ability to conduct mass testing was also questioned.

The Council of Governors further heaped pressure on the CS to have nursery students undergo mandatory tests.

In a statement on Friday, September 25, governors stated that they would undertake random testing of COVID-19 on Children in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDEs) centers before re-opening.

The county heads also urged the Ministry of Health to support counties with testing kits to facilitate the process.

Raising funds for upgrading schools has, however, been a challenge with the government turning towards parents and teachers for help.


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