Tuesday, December 29, 2020 – Headteachers have opposed the full reopening of schools scheduled for January 4, 2021, citing inadequate preparation in the majority of schools.
Speaking during a meeting in Nairobi yesterday, Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (KEPSHA) cautioned against the school reopening, noting that they were underfunded.
The school heads argued that the large populations in several public primary schools would make it near impossible for them to implement and adhere to health protocols in the fight against Covid-19.
KEPSHA Chairman Nicholas Gathemia pointed out that there are more than 23,000 public primary schools in the country with over 12 million pupils.
“Unlike secondary schools, we were never given funds to improve on infrastructure or prepare schools for reopening.”
“We are at a point of straining even as we prepare to receive learners next week,” Gathemia stated.
He highlighted that some schools had only 51 classrooms and up to 5,000 learners, translating to 98 learners per classroom.
“If all learners will have to report back to school at the same time, schools will not have classes and spaces to accommodate them,” he stated.
The school heads asked that they be allowed to hold the school sessions in shifts.
“We are proposing the government allows school heads to call learners back in shifts as that is the only way we can observe social distancing in schools. Currently, schools don’t have enough classrooms,” Gathemia stated.
The Ministry of Health in the course of the pandemic has advised on social distancing, about one metre gap, to combat the virus.
MoH further requires schools to provide clean running water and storage facilities.
The Kenyan DAILY POST