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More learners in public schools as some private ones are closed

Oloolua Primary School head teacher Irene Mwenda (left) with CSs Fred Matiang’i, Adan Mohamed, Amina Mohamed and George Magoha at the school in Kajiado County yesterday. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Covid-19 has put undue pressure on public schools to accommodate more students after some private institutions closed down.

The schools closed down due to tough economic times occasioned by the pandemic.

During a visit by eight Cabinet secretaries to Oloolua Primary School in Kajiado North, area MP Joseph Manje said many private schools in the region had closed down due to Covid-19, and there was pressure on public schools to admit more learners.

Manje said the population of public schools would significantly go up due to the effects of Covid-19 on private schools.

“There are about six public schools in the constituency that have a population of over 2,000 each, meaning that with this Covid, we are likely to go up to 3,000 and beyond,” said Manje.

Oloolua Primary currently has over 2,700 pupils.

Eight Cabinet secretaries, including Fred Matiang’i (Interior), George Magoha (Education), Amina Mohammed (Sports), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Najib Balala (Tourism), James Macharia (Transport), Keriako Tobiko (Environment) and Adan Mohammed (East African Community) visited schools to assess resumption of learning and adherence to Covid-19 health protocols.

Each CS was accompanied by a teacher to a class to assess the situation in the school.

“This school is special, it is among the heavily populated schools in the country with over 2,700 children,” said Magoha.

He said the funds advanced to schools should be used for what they are meant for. He acknowledged that social distancing is a challenge but that will not stop them from delivering services.

Magoha said Oloolua Primary School will get support from the government in line with the way it supports other large schools.

“We will have a second look at the desks situation and if they require more desks, they will get the right proportion of desks,” he said.

Adan offered to donate sanitary towels to 665 girls in the school. This is in addition to the ones given by the government to every public school.

Amina said they were given a directive to deliver as one and ensure children and teachers are supported to settle well in schools.

“I was impressed by the manner the children here related with us, we are here to do what is necessary to support children to go back to school and stay in school,” she said.

Elsewhere, a national school in Murang’a is spending millions of shillings to create additional facilities to help in decongesting the institution as guided by Covid-19 protocols.

Management of Mugoiri Girls High School has lined up a series of projects that include construction of an additional storey dormitory, 12 classrooms and converting a netball pitch to a temporary hall.

Principal Susan Mundia said they were using expanded polystyrene technology, which entails use of inert material that does not rot away.

“With support from the government and parents, the school administration is determined to create enough space for the learners to keep the recommended social distance in our facilities,” said Mundia on the phone.

On Monday, the parents protested a demand by the school administration that all learners have face masks and enough sanitisers as part of the measures to stop the spread of the disease.

“The learners have also been asked to have hand gloves, when washing their dormitories,” said Mundia.

In the past three days, a team from public health officials has been inspecting schools to ensure the management has addressed the concerns to help stop the spread of Covid 19.

Covid 19 Time Series


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