Relief to parents as schools finally resume

Mwendo Bora School tractor transporting pupils along Kenyatta Road in Lamu Island. [Robert Menza, Standard]

There was a sigh of relief as a majority of schools resumed learning on Monday after days of anxiety.

A nationwide spot check by The Standard showed most learners, particularly those in boarding schools had reported to their schools as early as 2pm on Monday.

Parents interviewed confirmed receiving Zeraki biometrically generated text messages, a confirmation that their children had arrived in their respective schools, utilising the technology. It was a relief to parents as there were no fare hikes with most Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) charging standard fare.

“We understand the current economic difficulties and that is why we are not charging more,” said Patrick Oketch, a Matatu conductor plying the Kisumu– Busia road.

At Ngutu and Makuyu primary schools in Mathioya and Maragua respectively, learning was disrupted when pupils mingled with families displaced by floods who are still camping in the school.

In Busia, several schools failed to reopen in Budalang’i because they are either submerged or not accessible.

Kenya Red Cross Society County coordinator Patrick Lwango says the society will provide boats that will help in ferrying learners and teachers to and from some of the schools that are not accessible in Bunyala South.

“We have provided a boat that is ferrying students to enable them access schools from their homes and also other roads that are not accessible,” Lwango said.

West Pokot Education Director Simon Wamae raised concerns over the devastation caused by floods to educational institutions such as Chepkalit secondary and primary Schools.

He called for support in rebuilding the schools, acknowledging the Ministry of Education’s guidelines on school reopening.

Wamae called for collaborative efforts to mitigate future risks posed by natural disasters and ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff.

Meanwhile, bookshops and uniform outlets recorded moderate sales as schools reopened.

At Watani bookshop in Murang’a, Lucy Muthoni, an attendant said sales were moderate as many parents bought a lot of books at the beginning of the year.

[Boniface Gikandi, Juliet Omelo, Jane Mugambi, Phares Mutembei, Benard Lusigi, Purity Mwangi, James Murimi, Jessee Sikali, Muriithi Mugo, Renson Mnyamwezi, James Omoro and Ishreen Shanzu]

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