COVID-19

Closing schools until 2021 was not the best decision

Our neighbour Tanzania opened its schools about two weeks ago and no alarm has been raised from their end so far

In Summary

• Who informed that corona pandemic will have ended by January 2021?

• Should  the circumstance remain or worsen in 2021, are we going to push the reopening to 2022?

Education CS George Magoha (R) examining masks produced at Rivatex in Eldoret on June 22
MASKS: Education CS George Magoha (R) examining masks produced at Rivatex in Eldoret on June 22
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

The 2021 reopening calendar is not cast in stone, Education CS George Magoha said, noting that should the Ministry of Health advise that the coronavirus curve has flattened, he would convene a stakeholders' meeting and give further guidelines.

I, however,  maintain that closing of schools until January 2021 wasn't the best decision. It appears we have been subdued by this pandemic and surrendered, instead of managing it. What do we intend to do between now and 2021 that we cannot do now with regards to curbing the spread?

Who informed that corona pandemic will have ended by January 2021? Should  the circumstance remain or worsen in 2021, are we going to push the reopening to 2022?

That aside, i have also considered the far-reaching impact of this pandemic on the livelihoods of those working in the education sector.

Where will teachers in private schools, drivers, suppliers, support staff and other service providers get their daily bread?  Additionally, the long break from school will also cause moral and social decadence, as we are already hearing of increase in the number of teenage pregnancies.

We are working on assumption that with the closure of schools, children are safe in their houses. That's not the case.  They are mingling freely in estates and villages. 

Our neighbour Tanzania opened its schools about two weeks ago and no alarm has been raised from their end so far. Uganda has also issued their re-opening dates. It thus appears we will unfortunately be the only country in East Africa that will not reopen schools this year — keeping kids at home while others are learning.

 The daily updates ,too, are furthering fear, scare and panic to the public. This too needs to stop. Tell us what the government is doing to flatten the curve.

Closing schools until next year was not the best option and I hope a number of legislators are of similar opinion for their intervention.

Kennedy Makasembo, Nairobi