Rural schools’ administrators in Siaya are facing difficulty in making their students comply with the Covid 19 protocols even as the national government strives to cushion them against the effects of the virus.
According to some head teachers, whereas the institutions have ensured that everything was in place, forcing the students and workers to wear masks correctly and wash their hands regularly was a challenge that they have to grapple with.
A survey by the Kenya News Agency in several schools in Siaya revealed compliance by the institutions, with hand washing points as well as the alcohol based sanitizers is put in place.
Other than the hygiene bit, many students put away masks immediately they step out of the school gate with many of the citing the discomfort that wearing mask brings.
As others prepare to report to school come January 4th, according to Nyasita Mixed Principal Dan Olopi, facilities would not be able to accommodate all the learners therefore there would be need for tents.
“Our classrooms were constructed to accommodate leaners in a normal environment. However, with the pandemic, we shall be forced to have tents in order to accommodate all of them,” said Mr Olopi.
“When we shall resume come January, the man power will also be strained. We have seven teachers in school and one intern. When the schools open, it means we shall have more classes,” he added.
Paul Okello, Deputy Principal Pal Pal Secondary school says that even the teachers were a hard nut to crack when ensuring they put on the masks.
“It is not easy for us to ensure that all the teachers, workers and the students adhere to the wearing masks protocol. Sometimes they just lower the mask while walking around,” noted the school disciplinarian.
The government had initiated the supply of desks to some of the schools which currently is implemented to 73 percent in the county, according to reports from the County education office.
A report compiled by the County Director of Education Joseph Wamocho revealed that by Friday 20th November, 2020, 57 primary schools in Siaya had received a total of 3,970 desks while 54 secondary schools had got 2,505 lockers and chairs.
The director attributed the delay in supply of the desks to several factors, among them financial constraints on the part of the artisans, some of whom have low capacity.
By Philip Onyango