The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Education, seems to have made up its mind; schools must open, come what may. Whether parents want it or not, Magoha Son of Magoha will not relent.
From the way these people are pushing for schools to resume, it is obvious that there are grants on the way and there is something to loot. Or maybe, they want to use the kids as litmus paper, to test the extent of Covid-19 and whether the curve has flattened or not.
It is true that kids have been at home for a long. It is true that we would like our kids to be back in school to catch up with what they have already lost. But is this the right time? Has the curve really flattened? If it has, is it because the Ministry has been carrying out fewer tests?
Why can’t the government first clear the other Covid-19 restrictions before rushing with the reopening of schools? Why are bars still closed? Why do we still have restrictions in places of worship? Why are burials still limited to 100 people?
The Ministry of Education says plans have been put in place to ensure social distancing among the learners. This can be achieved in class. What about in the field? What about in the dining hall? What about in the abolition blocks?
Covid-19 has hit hard on the majority of Kenyans. The majority of parents and guardians who are supposed to pay school fees for learners have lost their jobs and some have had their businesses shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What mechanisms have the government, through the Ministry of Education put in place to shield parents against the heat of Covid-19 in terms of fees payment? It is obvious that schools will not run on the empty. Are they going to increase the funding?
What about the things that some of the headteachers will start asking from parents such as the number of masks every student should have, the number of sanitizers among other things? Is the Ministry of Education going to issue a guideline?