Parents were yesterday up in arms
against the planned reopening of schools
on October 19 as Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha ordered teachers
to report to schools in readiness for the
resumption of classes.
National Parents Association chairperson Nicholas Maiyo expressed concerns
about the safety of learners once schools
re-open, as well as the protocols to be put
in place by learning institutions.
“As parents, we are concerned about two
things, one is the behaviour of Covid-19,
but now that it is below 5 per cent, we may
reconsider our position on reopening,”
“Parents are also concerned about the
protocols being put in place to protect our
children from the virus, we do not want to
be like Tanzania where pupils are not putting on masks or observing social distancing yet there is Corona there,’ said Maiyo.
For some parents planning for an October return to school is a difficult thing as
they had not budgeted for it. However, if
talk by MPs yesterday is put to action then
there could be some reprieve for this lot.
Speaking in Kajiado County at the weekend, Lugari MP Ayub Savula demanded
that the government uses the school capitation funds for the first two terms to fund
the running of the learning institutions.
“Waziri wa elimu amesema shule zifunguliwe October. Mimi, Memusi na
wajumbe wenzangu hapa tutakaa kule
bungeni pesa ya captiation ya first term
na second term haikutumika. Tunataka
watoto wasome free hizi term zimebakia, wasituambie wazazi walipe, walipe
nini, kama walipeleka pesa ya capitation
kwa Corona wakakula, wote wafungwe
(The Education CS has said schools will
be reopened in October. Myself, Memusi
and other MPs will sit in Parliament and
demand that the funds for capitation for
first term and second term were not used
be spent to run schools, let them not tell
us that parents must pay schools fees, why
should they pay? If they diverted the capitation monies to Corona and squandered
it, they should be jailed,” said Savula.
the new reopening date.
Magoha said the curve for Covid-19 is
being monitored and that learning will resume in schools once it is flattened.
“We’re going to receive a report from our
technical team on the state of schools regarding Covid-19 prevention. The meeting
will deliberate on the school reopening,”
According to Magoha, the reopening of
schools will begin with national examination classes before it is cascaded to other
classes at different levels.
“We’ll start with examination classes. We
want the desks project completed before
the end of October so that the remaining
groups of children come to school to find
where to sit when they come to school,” he
Last week, the Ministry of Education
published tough guidelines that schools
will have to adhere to once learning resumes failure to which they will be closed.
Prior to reopening, educational institutions are to develop policies and procedures suitable in their own environment
to enable a smooth process.
They are also to provide a budget to
institute safe and protective learning environment by putting in place all health
protocols required in the fight against Covid-19.
The government has also banned some
of the activities like swimming, assemblies
and sleeping in schools for pre-primary
A committee appointed by Prof Magoha proposes that the school calendar be
revised to allow the year to begin in June
instead of the usual January-to-November
cycle. The report suggests that the Parents’ jitters over
reopening of schools
Many do not have money to
pay fees claiming the notice, if
it comes, will be too short
Several parents interviewed maintained they were not prepared to pay
school fees in October given the ravages
of the pandemic, which has rendered
“I am not prepared, I am very concerned about the safety of my child. And
if they insist that school must resume in
October, most parents do not have money
since there have been financial problems
since Covid-19 was announced. Let the
Government announce or have a stand
that all schools should resume next January. This will help give us parents enough
time to prepare for schools to be open,”
said Geoffrey Onditi, 42.
Another parent, Titus Karisa, 50, shared
Onditi’s concerns, saying he had planned
for a January reopening date.
“Personally, I am not prepared for the
reopening of schools as a parent because
the government, through the Ministry of
Education, announced earlier that schools
will reopen in January 2021 so changing
the time of reopening will be a great challenge to most parents both financially and
in terms of proper preparation. The Ministry should have a fix date and month for
next year 2021 and not this year. We have
faced all sorts of challenges this year,” he
Nancy Mwasau, 31, also stated she
was least prepared for the reopening of
“First, I am not prepared either am I
ready to take back my children to school
this year. I have serious financial constraints since business has been slow. Secondly my child who is waiting to sit for the
national exams will not have enough time
to prepare for exams,’ she stated.
Directing teachers to report to their respective schools ahead of the planned reopening, Magoha said it was necessary for
learners to find schools in good shape. The
government closed all schools in March
following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Magoha told the teachers to make the
schools habitable for learning when they
“Let teachers do everything possible to
make schools have a good atmosphere for
learning. Children will resume learning as
soon as possible,” Magoha directed when
he toured Mawego Technical Training Institute in Karachuonyo, Homa Bay county
to supervise the economic stimulus project for making desks.
The CS said schools will be opened in
phases, adding that a meeting with education stakeholders will be convened this
week before the government announces