The Head of State has said schools will open on January 4. Learners have been out of the classrooms for more than nine months owing to the Covid-19 outbreak. Since independence, such a thing has never happened.
My grandmother narrated how the state of emergency forced schools to close in 1952 for five years and this ended her education.
At least we are lucky and are waiting for next year with bated breath. When the Education Cabinet Secretary made the announcement to close schools, learners thought it will only take a few months to resume.
The school economy has thousands of people in the value chain and the closure has affected livelihoods in a big way. Nine months is a long time for learners being out of touch with day-to-day class work.
Much has happened in the lives of these young souls. Teachers will have to cope with the attention deficit as some learners have never touched a book and have forgotten half of what they had learnt.
They need counselling and empathy. The government seems ready for school re-opening but the big question is: Are learners ready? Have schools complied with Covid-19 protocols considering that both public and private schools suffered from a facility deficit even before the pandemic.
Moreover, our country experiences water supply problems while the pandemic prevention measure calls for frequent hand-washing.
The learners in primary and secondary schools are being asked to pack at least fifty masks not to mention school fees and replacement of worn uniforms and shoes.
Can our government assure us that the 20 million masks that NYS, Rivatex and other textile companies promised to give schools will be available?
Let the government increase bursary allocations and direct that constituency education kitties be used for expanding school facilities. It appears that we did not make hay while the sun was shining but there is room.
Raxy Ngure, 13, is a Class Eight pupil at Newlight Junior Academy in Komarock, Nairobi. Are you aged 10-20 and would like to be Nation’s young reporter? Email your 400-600-word article to firstname.lastname@example.org