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School heads now want sporting activities back

EDUCATION
By Augustine Oduor | May 21st 2021
Dixion Kipruto plays a violin at Rupaz Fitness Centre in Eldoret. 20.05.2021. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

 

Primary school heads now want school games to resume, arguing that children are already interacting freely in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Johnson Nzioka, the chair of Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (Kepsha) said many talented children are exiting schools before realising their full potential.

“Some of these children may give up on their talents but as we speak children are already interacting freely and playing together. We should allow them to engage in sporting activities,” said Nzioka.

He said that even at the national level, sporting activities have resumed, albeit with clear protocols, and noted that the same can be done in schools.

For more than one year, children have had to contend with boring school days after the government suspended all sporting activities to curb the spread of Covid-19.

A circular to all schools by Joseph Kinyua, Head of Public Service stipulated: “All extra-curricular activities such as sports, drama, music and prize giving days, involving more than one school remain prohibited for the next 90 days.”

The Covid-19 measures in schools also required that learners avoid congested spaces and teachers were also directed to effect social distancing.

The rules required that fields shall be appropriately marked to ensure learners/trainees play different games which don't involve contact.

“Swimming should be halted in all educational institutions until the Covid-19 risk is at lowest level as shall be guided by the Ministry of Health,” read the guidelines.

No sporting activities were undertaken during the entire 2020 academic year. According to the 2020 co-curricular activities calendar of events, the Ministry of Education scrapped the national games championships for all secondary schools.

None of the games were executed as virus infections surged. The games included netball, football of under 16 and 19 years, volleyball, badminton, lawn tennis, and table tennis.

All national festivals were also suspended. These included music festivals that were to take place in the Eastern region. The East Africa music, dance and drama were also to take place concurrently.

Other sporting events that are still suspended are the Federation of East African Schools Sports Association (FEASSA) championships, which were to be hosted in Kenya.

At the college level, the Kenya Teachers Training Colleges national ball games were also to take place during the second term.

The Kenya Teachers Training Colleges Paralympic athletics championships were also suspended.

“We are requesting the government to allow the resumption of extracurricular activities because the children are already interacting,” Nzioka said.  

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