Government officials in Malindi Sub County have launched a drive to ensure that all students return to school after the unprecedented long holiday occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deputy County Commissioner Thuo wa Ngugi told journalists Tuesday that he had formed a multi-agency team that would ensure compliance to all Covid-19 protocols in schools as well as track down any learners that have not reported back to school.
He instructed all assistant county commissioners, chiefs and their assistants to give daily reports of all students who may not have reported to school with a view to establishing their whereabouts and get them to go back to schools.
Thuo said even girls who had fallen pregnant or were married off during the long holiday would be traced and taken back to school and that parents who fail to cooperate with the government would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
The DCC said this after touring a number of schools to gauge their compliance to Covid-19 protocols following the re-opening of schools on Monday.
“There is no chief that does not know the learners in the areas. We shall employ the method we used to when we recorded 100 percent transition to secondary school last year,” Ngugi said.
He at the same time urged teachers to be role models in following the Covid-19 protocols, especially the practice of wearing face masks and washing of hands with soap and water.
At the same time, private schools in Malindi Sub County have called on the government to come to their aid and ensure smooth re-opening.
The director of Khairat Girls Secondary School in Malindi town, Mr. Hamisi Ramadhan Kiwaka, lamented that despite the government promising to avail Sh7 billion to assist private schools during the pandemic period, none of them had received any grants.
“There are more than 10,000 private schools in the country, out of which about 3,000 are members of the Kenya Private Schools Association (KEPSA), but not even one of the schools received a penny to help them during the pandemic, he lamented.
He said instead of the government assisting private schools, it was encouraging learners who may not afford private schools to join public ones, a fact he said could cripple the private institutions further.
“We are also taxpayers and we deserve to be assisted, because in fact, we produce better performing students than public schools and pay taxes which are used to pay the salaries of teachers in public schools,” he lamented.
By Emmanuel Masha