Opening of schools in doubt over surge of COVID-19 infections


This is the new reality in schools; infections and death.

Leah Chelagat Kulei was a tutor at Olmarai Secondary School in Baringo county.  She died of COVID-19 at a Nakurui Hospital.

She is one of the latest victims of a pandemic that is now ravaging the country’s Education Sector.

According to the Ministry of Health statistics, 33 teachers, 17 students and 7 non-teaching staff have been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Some say these numbers could be conservative.

The government is seemingly at a cross-road over the resumption of physical learning in schools.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha says the safety of the learners will inform the next steps.

“What we are grappling with is do we open for the other children or not, Nobody wants our children to stay home forever, it’s a collective responsibility that must be made by parents teachers, stakeholders,” Prof Magoha said.

The government is dismissing talk of the possible closure of learning institutions instead of asking candidates to prepare for their exams.

“The examination timetable there are no changes because like I said we are not planning, for now, to shut down because of COVID-19, if that time comes we will tell you,” Prof Magoha added.

With many parents voicing concerns over the safety of their children, both health and education cabinet secretaries came out to give an assurance saying stakeholder meetings will soon clear the air over the matter.

“The public don’t need to worry that even the children who have been found with  COVID-19, the government is fully in control, some schools have been closed for 14 days, my ministry, Interior and health, and we are working to ensure the children get the best,” Prof Magoha added.

If everything had gone to plan, after the resumption of learning in grade four and the examination classes of class eight and form four on October 12th, grade 5, 6,7 and forms 2 and three would have joined in two weeks later on October 26th, while the remaining classes would have resumed on November 1.

That is grade 1,2,3 and form 1.

The virus has taken the government back to the drawing board, what looms now is if physical learning for other classes is suspended there will be a possible clash in the transition classes for instance class 5 and form 1.

And as the pandemic strikes harder, some private schools have paid the price, 219 of them forced out of business due to the harsh economic environment, this affecting 55, 000 learners. if the situation persists more schools are bound to go broke and close down shop.

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