Rosemary Wahu Mbogo


Covid-19, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and in Kenya in March 2020. In Kenya, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to light some unknown talents among the stakeholders at different levels. The economic sector has had manufacturing potential for goods, and from mass media reports, this has been demonstrated through production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), ventilators and innovations in technology in the creation of apps such as the Linda App for contact tracing and Gumzo, a video conferencing app. Similarly, the education sector has also demonstrated potential for adaptation in some situations. For example, after all institutions of learning were closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus in March 2020, many universities have continued learning through Online, Distance and E-learning (ODEL) platforms, and some have even conducted virtual graduations. Others like Kenyatta University have reported innovations such as development of ventilators and modified testing swabs for Covid-19. This is admirable despite numerous limitations of internet accessibilities and other shortcomings. This remarkable achievement has been possible due to semi-autonomy in the university education sector, where Senates are given the right and power, by the Education Act, to make autonomous decisions for their universities which are regulated and monitored using the standards and regulations set by the Commission of University Education (CUE). However, other levels of the education sector do not have this autonomy and have had to depend on the ministry of education for guidance. On 8th July 2020, the ministry of education announced the result of a consultative meeting with stakeholders, to postpone the reopening of schools to January 2021. This was due to the rising cases of corona virus infections in May and June, steeping the infection curve, expected to reach the peak by November and to have flattened by January 2021 (Magoha, 2020). However, what surprised many was the additional and unforeseen announcement that all basic education students (apart from standard 8 and form 4 examination candidates whose details were not clarified) will repeat their current class levels in 2021. The pronouncement caused anxiety and has attracted mixed reactions from various stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is therefore to explain the leadership decisions made by the ministry of education analyze their impact on basic education and propose possible ways for educational leaders and administrators, community leaders and volunteers to facilitate home-based education during the Covid-19 pandemic. This should be done with a goal for progression and promotion of students to the next class level when the 2020 syllabus is eventually covered. The study method utilized desktop literature research where interactions with educational leaders, scholars and practitioners were used to investigate threats and opportunities in managing education during crises.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v7i9.3250


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