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COVID-19 in Schools, Reopening and All You Need To Know

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the country as every county is slowly feeling the impact of the pandemic. Schools have also begun recording coronavirus cases with Maranda High School recording at least 10 students confirmed with COVID-19.

Friends School Kamusinga and Kimilili Boys also recorded 11 and 6 cases respectively.

Siaya county health chief officer Eunice Fwaya said that they did a mass test in the school after the first case. Ten learners’ samples came out positive.

Schools Will Stay Open

Following the recorded cases, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha visited Kereri Girls in Kisii where he reiterated his stance that schools will stay open.

“Our children will stay in school. As you have seen, they are doing well. We will not close the school, we are thinking of going with examinations and we are preparing,” said CS Magoha.

The CS did admit social distancing is still a challenge with cases on the rise in schools. Education Permanent Secretary Belio Kipsang said on Thursday that the Ministry has reports of 33 teachers whose samples came out positive.

Dr. Belio Kipsang told members of the National Assembly that 35 schools have reported at least a case. He blamed both guardians and parents who have been attending rallies and gatherings without putting on masks and risking the lives of students.

“The challenge is parents attending political rallies and other social gatherings without wearing masks. We cannot blame our children. Why should you tell us to achieve social distancing in schools when parents attend political rallies without observing measures?” said Dr. Belio Kipsang.

Kenyans split on whether to reopen schools

The rising COVID-19 cases have raised concern and derailed the decision to reopen the school. Kenyans are understandably cautious with allowing their children back in schools.

In a poll conducted by Teacher.co.ke, some parents argued that COVID-19 is not going anywhere and we have to learn to live with it. This section of parents did not want the Ministry of Education to waste more time and should instead reopen schools fully by allowing the other classes to resume learning.

One parent, Mogaka, a resident in Kisumu City said that the government should find a solution on how to resume learning safely as many students’ dreams have suffered during the forced shutdown of schools.

“Our leaders are not showing a good example. They are hosting political rallies and COVID-19 measures and not following the protocols provided by the Ministry of Health. Besides, they reopened bars, hotels, and restaurants a long time ago.

“I do not see the reasons why children are supposedly safer at home. Are people practicing social distancing in political rallies? I feel children will be safer in school. Let them reopen as they cannot keep schools closed forever,” said one Kenyan.

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