At least 54,000 kids will have no schools to go to in Kenya on Monday after 128 private schools gave the notice to shut completely following an impact of Covid-19 that hit hard on their finances.
According to the association of Private Schools in Kenya, the government of Kenya has not released the 7,000,000,000 shillings stimulus package that had been promised for private schools.
Most private schools had indicated that the cost of reopening schools is too heavy on them and called on the Ministry of Education to intervene. Some had turned their classrooms into business ventures with one school owner in Meru turning his school into a chicken farm.
Reopening of schools
The Ministry of Education, through the Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha, ordered the reopening of schools on October 12, 2020, getting both schools and the majority of parents unaware.
In the announcement, the Ministry of Education wants kids in Grade4, Standard 8, and those in Form 4 to report to school with both the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) slated for March 2021.
Given that the majority of parents had been hit hard by the pandemic and even lost their jobs, giving them 5 days to prepare their kids for school including looking for school fees was a decision reached in absence of wisdom.
Professor George Magoha had initially indicated that the government of Kenya was going to release funds that will ensure that every child in a public school has at least two face masks.
Magoha has since changed tune and said that parents will have to buy the face masks for their children. Already, some schools have sent letters to parents indicating that kids must have masks that carry the school logo and bought from a specific shop.
As schools resume, parents will have a long and rough ride.