Magoha Bans Journalists From Schools

Cabinet Secretary for Education, George Magoha, has prohibited the media from visiting schools to cover the existing conditions. This comes three days after the government ordered the reopening of schools while the press highlighted the lack of preparedness that marred the exercise.

Magoha asked the media to stay away from schools while citing the seriousness of the coming examinations (KCPE and KCSE) that will be held in 8 weeks. The CS pointed out that the government had nothing to hide, and it was not singling out the media from visiting schools. He added that his team would inform the media and ask them to visit schools when required.

Magoha criticized the manner in which the media focused on the negative aspects of the school reopening exercise while omitting the positive features. He reminded the journalists about the 4 billion medical scheme for secondary school students, which was covered by NHIF.

Zack Kinuthia, the Chief Administrative Secretary, had reiterated this point as he warned journalists from accessing schools without seeking authority from the relevant individuals in the Ministry of Education. He mentioned that the punitive move was to ascertain the safety of school children.

The media carries out a crucial role in informing the public. Without the media, it is impossible to know the conditions that school children are subjected to as they begin going through.

The move comes after the media showed a picture of a young primary school pupil from Nyando, Kisumu, who was taking a lesson under a tree and wearing torn open shoes. The picture highlighted the difficulties that parents were undergoing as the government insisted that they should provide protective face masks and other requirements as schools reopened on Monday.

School child from Nyando.png

Before and after the story was picked by the media (Twitter)

While Rwanda built more than 20,000 classes for its pupils, the Kenyan government waited until the last minute to make preparations for the students. 10 months after schools were closed and numerous scandals exposed, school children had to start the year under trees since the government failed to prepare adequately for the reopening.