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Tuesday, November 17, 2020 – Health Acting Director-General, Dr. Patrick Amoth, has admitted that the potential loss of millions, if not billions of shillings, was what motivated CS George Magoha to partially reopen schools in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“School is the safest corridor for students to be able to achieve their full potential. Studies done by the World Bank and the IMF indicates that for every year a child is out of school, you lose the equivalent of 4,500 US dollars (Ksh 492,075),” he stated during a press briefing on November 16.

“If you multiply that by the number of students in the country which is 15 million, notwithstanding the parents who also have to stay back at home and take care of the young ones and lose an equal amount of money, the loss is monumental.”

“Suppose the pandemic lasts for 5 years, are we going to close schools for 5 years and have no future,” he added.

However, this did not go down well with a majority of Kenyans, who questioned the morality of quoting financial concern as a reason for the reopening of schools, which has increased Covid-19 infections and resulted in fatalities in the educational sector. 

“What is the cost of one child’s life, in dollars?” a Kenyan posed.

“They have already concluded the tradeoff and determined that putting the life of a child at risk is far lower than losing $4500.”

“Our Lord shall be our defender,” another added.

The DG’s latest statement came on the very day a Form 4 student at Lureko Secondary School in Mumias West, succumbed to Covid-19, with several others across the country having been infected.


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