Parents’ back-to-school Covid fear

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Class Eight and Grade Four pupils at Khadija Primary School in Kisauni, Mombasa County. The school’s head decried that half of the learners had no face masks. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

More than two-thirds of households in Nairobi’s low-income areas fear that their children will contract coronavirus when they return to school, a new survey shows.

TIFA Research survey shows that 70 per cent of residents living in Huruma, Kibera, Mathare, Korogocho, Mukuru kwa Njenga and Kawangware are anxious about their children’s return to school.

With a sample size of 555 respondents, the survey, which was conducted between September 24  – October 2 showed that the level of worry was higher for women at 73 per cent compared to men at 67 per cent.

Very worried

“More than two-thirds of those with school-age children fear that they would contract the virus when they return to school, with slightly more women than men having this anxiety,” shows the survey finding released yesterday.

There is also a split between parents  who are either “very worried” or “somewhat worried” and those who are “only a little worried” or “not worried at all” about the children contracting the virus..

At least 44 per cent said they are very worried of their children contracting the virus, with more women than men expressing the highest level of such worry, at 51 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

Those with higher levels of personal concern about contracting the virus believe this fate, would befall their children if or when they return to school.

Conversely, those with little or no fear of contracting the disease have much fear that this will happen to their child/children.

The survey also sampled children access to education content while at home, which showed that only four-in-ten said they are accessing learning content through various platforms while at home.

The two most common ways of accessing such content were television and  smart-phones.

Some 36 per cent of the children said they have been accessing learning through TV, 34 per cent though smart phones while 11 per cent and 6 per cent said radio and books, respectively.

The survey also found that at least 61 per cent of those with children who can access learning content through any type of technology consider it as either “very” or “somewhat useful.”

On the level of attention children are giving to the educational content available, the survey found that 41 per cent are giving it little attention, 29 per cent have a great deal of attention while 18 per cent and 9 per cent said the children give some and no attention at all, respectively.

“Those with children who consider educational content they are accessing to be “very useful” report that children are paying more attention to it than those who consider it to be “not useful at all,” says the report.

On the social impact of the virus, the survey found that there was increased domestic violence against three categories of victims namely women, men and children.

As for its specific forms, a majority of those reporting an increase in domestic violence against women indicated that it has been both physical and verbal in nature. 

Report shows the most common type of violence affecting men and children is also a combination of physical and verbal.

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