About five million learners in Kenya have not touched a book since schools were closed in March 2020 over Covid-19 fears.
This is according to a recent survey conducted by Usawa Agenda which shows that only 25 percent of the learners are active on homeschooling programs leaving out 75 percent with no idea what to do during the quarantine break.
Usawa Agenda also reveals that only 22 out of 100 learners are accessing the online learning program in the country indicating that the education sector still has a long way to go in terms of tech.
The situation has been poor despite the Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha insisting that the homeschooling program has been ongoing.
“Continued claims that there is learning going on is building anxiety, especially among candidates, who feel that their ‘lucky’ colleagues are leaving them behind,” said Emmanuel Manyasa, executive director, Usawa Agenda.
Usawa Agenda calls out on the government to be realistic and acknowledge that remote learning is not working out well in Kenya.
“The government should acknowledge the fact that there is no systematic remote learning going on and communicate that publicly,” the firm said.
The survey firm argues that lack of access to digital learning is creating tension among learners and if the Government acknowledges this, the situation will be calmed.
The survey branded ‘Are Our Children Learning? The Status of Remote-learning among School-going Children in Kenya during the Covid-19 Crisis involved heads of several households, headteachers, and sub-county officials.
Learners in private schools are more advantaged than their counterparts in public schools with the report showing that the latter is twice as likely able to access online learning programs.
Since the schools closed in March over Covid-19, the Education Ministry has been putting up measures to ensure learning continues remotely through the use of electronic and digital media with Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) leading the way.
However, only 10 out of 100 learners accessed digital KICD material, 42 out of 100 digital learners accessed TV lessons, and 27 out of 100 are following up on the materials sent via WhatsApp by their respective schools.
The task of supervising the learners has been left to their parents and guardians and most of them are not keen on following what their children are doing. With the number of Covid-19 increasing daily, parents will have to bear with the situation for a while.