• 'When you see pupils studying in open environments it’s not that there is a crisis of learning materials and buildings in our schools but because we want to mitigate the spread of the virus.'
• But teachers insist their classrooms are congested and in dire need of expansion.
Some learners may study under trees only for distancing but not because of a shortage of classrooms, Education CAS Zach Kinuthia has said.
Kinuthia spoke on Wednesday evening during a visit to Kwale. He said the national government is committed to supplying more desks in schools and building more classrooms to ensure the safety of children.
“When you see pupils studying in open environments, it’s not that there is a crisis of learning materials and buildings in our schools but because we want to mitigate the spread of the virus,” he said.
But teachers insist their classrooms are congested and in dire need of expansion.
Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a Sh1.9 billion school furniture project to produce 650,000 locally assembled desks.
Kinuthia said most of the public schools in the country have received the desks. He said over 5,000 desks were distributed in various public schools in Kwale.
The CAS said the government is already supplying 7.5 million face masks to needy learners. He asked various stakeholders to support in ensuring the resumption of learning in schools is smooth.
He advised MPs to utilise the CDF funds to help public institutions cope with the current circumstances.
“The MPs have the mandate to use the Sh100 million of the CDF money to build classrooms, buy water tanks, face masks and other things,” Kinuthia said.
He warned parents who have failed to take their children to school of severe punishment.
Kinuthia said starting Monday next week, the government will conduct a major crackdown on students who have not reported to school.
Meanwhile, county police commander Joseph Nthenge issued an ultimatum to some parents in Kwale to disclose the whereabouts of their children.
Nthenge said more than 100 schoolgirls were reported to have escaped from their homes during the Covid-19 holiday.
“It is a responsibility of a parent to tell us where that child is or else we will take stern legal actions against you because you know exactly what transpired,” said Nthenge.
(edited by o. owino)