Legislators have raised concerns about the dangers of coronavirus spreading in learning institutions. Members of the National Assembly’s Health Committee have said that a majority of schools are not observing health measures in the fight against the viral disease.
Cherangani MP Joshua Kutuny said it is a pity that the Ministry of Education has failed to procure masks for learners even as schools open.
“Many schools were not prepared to open. If you go to these schools there are no masks and no water points. Don’t you think that we should review this decision on schools?” Kutuny asked when the committee met on Wednesday.
Keiyo North MP James Murgor and Wajir South MP Mohamud Sheikh said the ministry appeared helpless by relying on donations for masks.
“The issue of provision of masks to learners is something that can be done. It however appears that the ministry has put all its hopes on donations,” Mohamud said.
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The questions were triggered by a disclosure by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe that young people were contracting the virus in bigger numbers than adults.
Kagwe said more infections were detected among the youth but it was the older people who were succumbing to the virus.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang defended his docket by saying it was the adults who were breaking the health protocols.
He said children end up carrying the virus to school after contracting it from adults.
“The major challenge is lack of discipline by the adults. People go to the bar and carry the virus to their children, who later take it to schools; to other children,” Kipsang said.
He explained that the decision to open schools was guided by medical experts, who gave advice that helped in coming up with the health protocols.
“Schools are within communities and if infections are increasing in communities, certainly schools in those areas are bound to face a surge,” Kipsang said.
“We were given some positive indicators that informed the decision to open. It would have been unfair to continue having schools closed when we were opening other sectors of the economy. Schools are safe.”