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School reopening requires more players on board to make it feasible, says KESSHA

Machakos, Wednesday December 16, 2020 KNA

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) Chairman Kahi Indimuli has called for inclusion of more stakeholders in the ongoing preparations for schools reopening early next year.
Speaking during Citizen Radio breakfast talk show Jambo Kenya Wednesday morning, Indimuli said leaving the government and individual schools alone to handle the complicated issue may pose a big challenge as majority of the learning institutions have so far done very little due to lack of adequate funding.
The top KESSHA official who is also Machakos School Principal, Chair of the Africa Confederation of Principals as well as Council member of the International Confederation of Principals has also warned that keeping children at home any longer will be detrimental to them as many may never resume their learning.
He said more stakeholders should therefore come on board and assist in raising funds and other items to ensure that learners get all Covid-19 requirements such as face masks, sanitizers, enough washing points and also help mitigate against the problem of social distance.
“The problem of social distance in our schools is a real nightmare that waits learners when they report back in January. At my school, we currently are occupying 29 classes to address social distance for our form four students leaving us with only ten classes to spare.
With a combined population of 1,600 students in normal times, it will be next to impossible to accommodate the rest of the students once they come back next year. And the problem is not confined at Machakos School alone, but is also replicated across the country,” said the official during the interview.
The KESSHA chair nevertheless defended the Ministry of Education on its decision to announce the reopening of schools early next year saying this was the only way to address the current learning crisis affecting learners.
Indimuli noted that despite the majority of schools not having put in place all the requirements as outlined in the Ministry of Health guidelines, holding children at home longer would be detrimental to their growth.
“If we want to wait until we have enough classes in place before we reopen our schools to learners, we shall never do so. The financial implication to mitigate one aspect of social distance in our schools will be very expensive and cannot be left wholly to the Ministry of Education.
We therefore require every education stakeholder to come on board, including the private sector to help in provision of some of the things we require such as face masks, sanitizers and washing soaps for use by the learners,” he said, while disclosing that his school alone needs Sh200 million to meet all the required health guidelines.
Meanwhile, the government has since announced all learners would report back to school on January 4 next year.
During this year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered all chiefs and their assistants to ensure all learners within their jurisdiction report back to school without fail come January.

By Samuel Maina

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