President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a presidential directive to Cabinet and top government officials on the mass reopening of schools.

Kenyatta ordered senior officials to assess the learning environment in all institutions and issue a detailed report on challenges students, teachers and parents face. 

The officials are expected to conduct appraisals too and note cases that need short and long-term solutions. 

All Cabinet Secretaries and their Principals have been making impromptu visits to schools since students resumed studies on Monday, January 4. 

The Principal Secretaries were tasked with checking whether schools have adhered to Covid-19 regulations and also audit infrastructural needs and availability of water and electricity. 

They were further asked to ensure all students had resumed studies as ordered by the head of state. Other government officials will assess whether students and teachers have adapted to the new learning protocols. 

The development comes at a time when the government is grappling with enforcing social distance regulations in schools. Education CS George Magoha argued that this would be a difficult task to achieve and ordered students to learn under trees as a temporary solution. 

Magoha banned visits from schools. However, barring journalists from touring schools  sparked uproar as it was argued that the decision was meant to protect the government from exposes related to unpreparedness and the state of Covid-19 in schools. 

Other challenges facing schools are the availability of infrastructure such as desks, water and electricity and payment of school fees. 

A number of school heads sent students with arrears back home, defying CS Magoha’s orders on payment of fees. The CS had ordered principals to allow all students to resume learning. 

School managers and parents are also battling with financial constraints and have hatched innovative ways to raise funds for schools in addition to funds issued by the government.

“We shall do our part but it must be known that the government has the biggest role to play in funding school activities,” Nichola Gathemia, Kenya Primary School Heads Association (KEPSHA) Chairman said. 

Source: Kenyans.co.ke