Third Eye

Keep schools safe from coronavirus

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 00:00 |
Kolanya Boys High School.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is today expected to announce a raft of measures that are supposed to aid the containment of the Covid-19.

October was a particularly bad month, recording the most infections and highest number of deaths from the disease.

Experts say Kenyans dropped the guard after the economy was reopened and measures relaxed. 

It is also a time when schools were partially reopened with Form Four, Class Eight and Grade Four learners trooping back to learning institutions.

The reopening came as a huge relief after the seven months of closure brought unprecedented challenges to learners and parents.

From a spike in teenage pregnancies to depression and suicide cases, staying at home for such a long duration, according to experts, was debilitating to the learners. 

The reopening, however, has also brought with it a fair share of problems.

Tononoka Boys Secondary School Principal Mohammed Khamis succumbed to the virus that also infected a number of students and teachers at the institution.

Yesterday’s revelation that more than 50 students of Kolanya Secondary School in Busia county had tested positive put a damper to the reopening narrative.

Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has ruled out closure of schools, instead saying that discussions on the reopening of the remaining classes are ongoing. 

Prof Magoha says learners are safer in schools. 

Whereas the President is expected to outline new containment measures, closure of schools is not expected to be on the agenda.

Therefore, maximum efforts need to be put on learning institutions to ensure no learner or staff is adversely affected by the resurging pandemic. No life should be lost in our institutions. 

Governors are sitting in the sixth extraordinary meeting on the virus and they have already issued a raft of demands.

Among them is the issuing of free masks to learners and construction of water points in schools.

The ABC of keeping Covid-19 at bay is wearing a mask, washing hands or sanitising and keeping social distance. 

The last element has been described as impossible in schools. This means that emphasis should be placed on masks, water and use of sanitisers to limit spread. We call on the government to stop at nothing to ensure the safety of learners. 

Among the resolutions of the last such meeting chaired by the President was an order to NYS to manufacture masks for learners and teachers.

The government should walk the talk and ensure Covid-19 does not cause havoc on learning institutions.

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