News Kenya School Reopening: Challenges Facing Students After Reporting

School Reopening: Challenges Facing Students After Reporting

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  • Grade 4, class 8 and form 4 students reported school on Monday, October 12, since March 2020 when President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the closure of schools in a bid to curb the spread of covid-19.

    Following their reporting to school after a seven-month break, the students are still trying to adapt to the new normal as well as settle down and learn.

    Below are some of the challenges that students are facing after school reopening;

    Education CS George Magoha speaking at the UoN graduation ceremony on September 25, 2020.
    Education CS George Magoha speaking at the UoN graduation ceremony on September 25, 2020.
    Twitter

    1.) Catching up on syllabus

    The Ministry of Education seeks to normalise the national academic calendar and enable students to move to the next class in June 2021.

    Teachers are expected to fit in the 2021 calendar in seven months from June to December, hence, what would have been covered in 2020, will have be done by May next year.

    Most students from poor backgrounds have not been tutored since March while some of their counterparts from well to-do families have been having online classes. 

    Hence, some of the students will have a hard time trying to catch up with what other students have covered so far.

    Grade Four and Class Eight pupils, who opened school on Monday, October 12, will begin their end of term one examinations from Monday, October 19.

    KNEC acting Chief Executive Mercy Kerogo stated that the tests are not national examinations, revealing that the exercise was to establish the preparedness of the children to continue with the curriculum.

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    Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha assesses Grade 3 learning at Joy Town Special School in Thika in September 2019
    File

    2.) School fees

    The pandemic affected several industries leading to loss of jobs and shutting down of business, hence, some of the parents argue that they do not have the money to take their children to school. Children are also expected to report back to school with special equipment like masks and sanitizers which will add an extra burden to parents who are already struggling.

    Nevertheless, the Ministry of Education gave parents a week to prepare for the reopening of the three classes.

    Education CS George Magoha has since asked parents to pay up what they can to facilitate the education of their children.

    “Parents are taking advantage, please take the little money that you have to school, if you go with nothing, you will have to be interrogated, if you can pay, then you must pay,” he stated.

    Some of the students are yet to report to school, arguing that that their parents are unable to pay their school fees.

    CS Education Prof George Magoha while releasing 2019 KCPE results at Mitihani House in Nairobi on November 18, 2019
    CS Education Prof George Magoha while releasing 2019 KCPE results at Mitihani House in Nairobi on November 18, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    3.) Children with underlying conditions

    Students who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.

    The Ministry of Health has previously warned that patients with underlying conditions are more prone to contracting the virus.

    Some schools are still grappling with how they will be able to practice social distance, bearing in mind that some institutions have many students.

    Students pictured during a lesson.
    Students pictured during a lesson.
    File

    4.) KNEC rules out candidate transfer

    The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a huge blow to private schools, leading some of them to close downs.

    Despite this fact, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has ruled out change of examination centres for the 1.9 million KCPE and KCSE candidates.

    Some of the parents had transferred their children from their former schools, either after the schools shut down or to low-cost school where school fees was more manageable.

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    Pupils attend a parade at a primary school in Kenya
    File

    5.) Covid-19 testing

    The Ministry of Health has announced that it will embark on random testing of COVID-19 in schools.

    Director of Public Health Dr. Patrick Amoth, during an interactive session on Twitter, stated that the government had already put up a surveillance system to monitor any increased cases of COVID-19 after learning institutions reopened.

    However, the government may not be able to roll out mass tests for all the students while in school which poses a threat to the learners.

    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at the Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
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