Education PS Dr. Belio Kipsang has called for a combined effort in ensuring five percent of learners who have not reported back to school countrywide have been accounted for.
Dr. Kipsang underscored the need to involve the security officers, chiefs, village elders, teachers and churches to search for the few learners who have not yet resumed learning, a week after the schools countrywide reopened for the second term.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has already directed that all school going children must report back to school. The government is very much concerned about the five percent that are yet to report, hence we have to do all that it takes to look for them,” he reiterated.
The PS spoke Wednesday at Ole Tipis Secondary school in Narok North Sub County during a back to school tour in the county.
Also in attendance was Forestry and Environment PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo, his planning counterpart Torome Saitoti, Labour Chief Administrative Secretary Patrick Ntutu and two representatives from the Presidential Delivery unit.
Dr. Kipsang reiterated that the government was keen in protecting the future generation by ensuring that all children were back to school and learning in a conducive environment.
“Nine months out of the classroom and examination environment is a long time. That’s why we are moving around the country in all the sub counties to ensure the children are back to school and that they adhere to the laid down measure to curb the spread of Covid-19,” he said.
He noted that the government allocates 27 percent of its national resource to education to see children learn in a favourable environment, adding that the department of Health has also distributed 7.5 million facemasks to the poor children to maintain all children in school.
On his part, Dr. Kiptoo asked the school fraternities to always check on the recommended protocols set to curb the potential spread of the virus in schools.
The PS observed no case of Covid -19 had been reported in schools, since the reopening a week ago, but warned the school managements to maintain the ministry of regulations so that the pandemic doesn’t resurface.
“The learners have wasted a long period while at home. It is now time we learn to live with the disease because it is here with us,” he continued.
Dr. Kiptoo said they will root for more infrastructure funds for school while making their final report on the visits in a bid to avoid overcrowding in classrooms.
“It is time for the school management to put up master plan for their schools that will help them put up infrastructure that can serve the future generation. The number of learners is always increasing and the schools should be prepared for this,” he reiterated.
On his part, Ntutu who hails from the county urged parents to return their children back to school reiterating failure to do so could attract arrest and eventual prosecution.
“We understand that some girls could have fallen pregnant during the period the schools were closed. This is not a license for them to remain at home, they should be admitted back to school to finish their studies,” said Ntutu.
Ole Tipis Girls Principal Ms. Margaret Kirui discouraged retrogressive cultural practices in the society and asked parents to release their children to go to school.
She asked parents to take up their responsibility of paying for the boarding fees and buying uniforms for their children.
Narok County Commissioner Evans Achoki said his team had moved around 31 schools in the county and ascertained that they have all put measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
He said 714 public primary schools and 149 public secondary schools have reopened for the second term in the county.
Achoki warned parents who are still holding their children at home of dire consequences saying the long arm of the law will finally catch up with the culprits.
By Ann Salaton