The phased reopening of schools last week marked the end of a seven-month hiatus since closure of institutions following the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.
While a number of private schools found the going tough, others have done their best to have learners back in class. Beyruha Academy in South C, Nairobi, received Standard Four and Eight pupils last Tuesday.
The silence that welcomes one to the school tucked beside residential apartments, betrays the fact that learning is ongoing. At the gate, a visitor’s temperature is taken.
The institution has six handwashing points.
Head teacher Joseph Gitonga says they put in place measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. “A bit of cost had to be incurred to have the school back on its feet and this included setting up handwashing points, soap, sanitisers and health notices,” he reveals.
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He explains that on the first day, the learners were taken through the Ministry of Health protocols of sanitation and behaviour.
The school bus has seats marked to ensure social distance. The learners sanitise their hands and have their temperature taken before they board the bus. The bus is fumigated every day. “Once in school, we check the temperature again and record as required and the learners have to wash their hands again before they enter class,” Gitonga says.
The school has an isolation room for learners who may fall sick. The head teacher says school programmes run normally and only assembly and games have been suspended.
Gitonga says, “Our school programme runs from 7.25am to 3.25pm when the children leave for home since they cannot engage in co-curricular activities and this is why we have even cordoned off our playground.”
Other contingency measures include having a stock of facemasks in case any of the learners do not have them.
The school has allowed back seven teachers from the 16 that it had initially. They are also required to abide by the protocols alongside other school staff like drivers, security and grounds people.
One of the school directors stated that it is prepared for the upcoming assessment that start next week. He says that so far there has not been any incident of Covid-19 in the school and says the measures put in place were found to be sufficient by a team sent by the Ministry of Education before the school could be allowed to reopen.