EDUCATION CRISIS

Reopen schools with strategies to protect children, says MP

Lawmaker says Ministry of Health must be cautious as some schools are in Covid-19 hotspots.

In Summary
  • MP says safety of the children is paramount and the Ministry of Education should protect them. 
  • He says social distancing in congested schools will be a challenge.
Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo addresses residents in his constituency on Monday
CALL: Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo addresses residents in his constituency on Monday
Image: LAMECK BARAZA

 

The government should put in place proper mechanisms to protect children and prevent the spread of Covid-19 before reopening schools, an MP has said.

Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo said the safety of the children remains paramount and the Ministry of Education should protect the learners. 

The legislator, however, said it was time learning resumed but the Ministry of Health must be cautious, especially in Covid-19 hotspots.

Odhiambo said, before reopening of schools, there must be a comprehensive audit of the capacity of all learning institutions.

The audit, he said, should inform the government on where to invest most in curbing the spread of Covid-19 in schools. The MP spoke to residents of Gem on Monday.

He said social distancing in congested schools will be a challenge unless the government built additional makeshift facilities.

The lawmaker suggested the government should enter into a partnership with MPs and MCAs to channel money through the MPs or county governments to fumigate schools before reopening.

Through collective response to the pandemic, legislators could partner with the government to provide soaps for washing hands in schools .

“If money allows we can also provide students with face masks as not all parents are able,” Odhiambo said.

The first-term MP said the pandemic was real and a more serious threat to the older population.

He said the majority of children in Kenya had received BCG vaccination that would enable their bodies to fight Covid-19.

“However, even with the BCG vaccination the school management must assure parents that there will be a high level of hygiene in schools to curb coronavirus,” Odhiambo added.

The MP said in Gem 176 schools would require fumigation and the cost will be huge as compared to that of bar soaps.

Central Alego MCA Leonard Oriaro said children's safety should not be compromised. 

The MCA said as a condition for reopening schools, the government must learn from free education and not leave the burden of buying masks and handwashing soaps to parents and teachers.

Oriaro asked the government to know the exact number of students from ECD to the university to ensure they were given free reusable masks.

 

Edited by Henry Makori