Jan 05, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — Kenyan pupils returned to school on Monday for the first time since classes were dismissed 10 months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools were closed in March 2020 when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the country with partial reopening done in October for Form 4, Class 8 candidates and Grade 4 pupils.
Both public and private schools had resumed even though there were various challenges encountered, including transport crisis as learners travelled back to school to and from upcountry.
“We have been waiting for a vehicle to Nairobi since morning and we can’t get any,” said Vitalis Oduor, a parent who was with his two children at the Eldoret main bus stage, “we are appealing to the government to allow public service vehicles to carry their normal capacity because this is the main case of this challenge.”
“We are happy to be back in school, that was a long break,” a pupil at Kasarani Primary School in Nairobi said.
Mask-wearing students had their temperatures checked before entering school to repeat their lost academic year as parents show both relief and concern to finally send their children back to school.
“As a parent, I am pleased that the children are back in school,” said mother Hildah Musimbi.
“At the moment we have got a lot of fear because we really don’t know if other children in school have the virus or even if the teachers have the virus, or even if the support staff in school have the virus.”
Teachers turned back students who were not wearing facemasks while struggling to maintain social distancing in crowded classrooms.
“It is difficult because we don’t have sufficient desks to ensure we keep children one metre (yard) away from each other but we are trying our best,” said Mvurya Mumbia, a headteacher at Voi Primary School.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha emphasized on the need for learners, teachers and other support staff to have masks on and maintain high hygiene standards to curb the spread of the virus.
“We are happy with the progress because schools have reopened, we want to emphasize to teachers to ensure that the COVID-19 protocols are followed,” he said during a tour Olympic Primary School in Kibera, “we are also urging parents to assist us by ensuring that they are compliant with the regulations.”