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Egerton striving to meet Covid-19 health protocols before reopening

Thursday July 16 2020
VC

Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Prof Rose Mwonya (left) welcomes the institution’s chancellor Narendra Raval (right) at Njoro campus on April 12, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FRANCIS MUREITHI

Egerton University is rushing against time to implement the Covid-19 health protocols ahead of the institution’s reopening at the end of July.

The institution is also working round the clock for its first virtual graduation ceremony set for July 31.

“The university will hold virtual graduation at the end of this month and preparations are in top gear,” Vice-Chancellor Prof Rose Mwonya told Nation.

Graduation ceremonies in public and private universities across the country had been disrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to University Education and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi only institutions that meet the requirements will be allowed to reopen.

CHALLENGES

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Prof Mwonya said that one of the challenges the university is trying to overcome is where the students will sleep after reopening.

“As a university management we are trying to put our heads together and find out the best sleeping arrangements in a bid to observe social distancing guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health as students sleep in hostels which accommodate many of them,” said Prof Mwonya.

She added: “During the day the students can easily be monitored to observe social distancing guidelines but during the night that is where our worry is particularly in the students’ hostels.”

Prof Mwonya said she was optimistic the university will reopen, adding “we are close to deciding the reopening date after finalising on health protocols.”

However, she stated that the final year students will be the first to resume studies once the reopening date is announced.

“We want to clear all the final-year students and gradually we shall recall the rest of the students as we make progress on health protocols,” added Prof Mwonya.

NEW STUDENTS

At the same time, she announced that the university was also working round the clock to ensure the new students who were admitted at the university this year start their learning.


“It is going to be hectic time as we shall have two groups of first year students as the initial group had not completed their first year academic programme due to the outbreak of Covid-19,” said Pro Mwonya.

She revealed that with the outbreak of coronavirus, the students who stay out of the university will undergo through checking to ensure the university is safe from Covid-19.

“It will be a tough balancing act for the university management as we cannot control the movement of students and monitor them outside the main campus premises as to whether they observe social distancing guidelines,” Prof Mwonya told the Nation.

Prof Mwonya said the university has a population of more than 3,000 students.

The new reopening arrangements are coming at time when the university is facing one of its worst financial crisis which forced the management to slash 40 per cent of the staff salaries.

“The university needs to buy masks, fumigate the institution and with the dwindling cash it means we must act smart and find a way to ensure the institution is safe from Covid-19 to avoid students and staff contracting the deadly disease,” said Prof Mwonya.

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