After suspending the academic year, Kenya begins a phased reopening of its schools.

Kenya has begun a phased reopening of schools almost eight months after authorities suspended classes because of the pandemic.

The country’s education secretary, George Magoha, announced on Tuesday that public and private would reopen for students in grades four, eight and 12 starting Monday. After completing their studies, eighth and 12th graders are scheduled to take their national standardized tests next March.

Kenya closed schools last March, just days after reporting its first case of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and introduced some remote learning. But the move was widely criticized after education experts said many students didn’t have access to the necessary technology, leading the education ministry to suspend the school year.

To reopen the schools, the ministry mandated wearing masks, hand washing and monitoring the temperatures of all those coming into educational facilities. Mr. Magoha acknowledged that physical distancing would remain a challenge in the schools but said that “should not be used as a bottleneck to keep any child away from school.”

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