By Nsunjo Erica
The Education Ministry of Kenya announced that the state is to offer Private schools concessionary loans worth 7 billion shillings to cushion them against the effects of Covid-19.
According to Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha in a speech on Sunday, the government is set to issue the money as a concessional loan to schools that prove they will be able to pay it back to the state.
COVID-19 has made it impossible for private schools to continue with operations following the fact that many faced indefinite closure due to government restrictions, these loans are meant to help them when they reopen.
According to the Kenya Private Schools Association, about 124 private schools in the country are expected to shut down permanently following the huge accumulation of depts. This comes as a result of the closure of institutions in March.
Private schools unlike public ones are owned by entrepreneurs who have outstanding loans they collected when starting up these schools and had given commercial banks their buildings as collateral.
The government’s suggestion to offer loans to private schools is a lifesaving move following the fact that many of these private schools have their properties in banks over debts this money will help them settle the debts.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha On Reopening Of Schools
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha, who spoke to the National Assembly Education Committee said that the planned January reopening of primary and secondary schools may have to be pushed further.
According to Prof. George Magoha, the decision to allow learners back to class is largely dependent on the covid-19 curve in the country and according to stats, the curve is not flattening at all.
Magoha says that there is nothing the government can do at the moment because it is not about education but the safety of the children in the country.
“Kenya has no apologies for locking up schools to safeguard the children of Kenya because every child has a right to live,” said Magoha.
CS Magoha said the ministry of education is looking forward to scrapping or suspending boarding facilities immediately if the Covid-19 curve will not have been flattened by January.
According to the CS, the spike in the daily coronavirus cases is one of the reasons that could push the reopening date further if the cases in the country continue to rise through the months of September to January.