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Social distancing remains a challenge for schools in Mombasa

Most of the schools in Mombasa County have witnessed an impressive rate of return of learners but are grappling with the problem of physical distance due to inadequate classrooms.

Crop Development and Agricultural Research Prof. Hamadi Boga acknowledged that social distancing was a huge challenge for most schools in the Coastal City which he said was crucial to protect learners from Covid-19.

“While most of the schools both public and private have complied with other Covid-19 protocols such as running water, sanitizers and face masks, physical distance still remains a challenge in urban schools due to the huge student population,” he said.

Prof Boga made the remarks on Thursday at Mwahima Secondary School in Likoni constituency when he led a team of Principal Secretaries and other government officers during assessment of general conditions of schools in Mombasa County after being closed for nine months due to the pandemic.

Students of Mwahima Secondary School in Mombasa sitting for their mock exams outside their classroom to avoid overcrowding on Thursday, January 14, 2021.Photo by Mohamed Hassan.

Those present included Principal Secretaries Safina Kwekwe (Tourism), Prof. Micheni Ntiba (Fisheries, Aquaculture and Blue Economy), Likoni Member of Parliament Mishi Mboko and Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo.

Prof. Boga said the objective of their visit was to assess the situation in public schools both primary and secondary and propose practical and implementable solutions.

“We are happy that students are fully aware of Covid-19 situation and have adapted to the new learning protocols, ” added the PS.

Among the schools visited by the team included Harambee Gardens, Mrima, Maji Safi Primary Schools and Mwahima Secondary School.

According to Mombasa County Director of Education Moses Bosire, over 98 per cent of students both in secondary and primary schools have resumed learning.

Bosire said 84 per cent of learners in private schools have reported back to school and attributed the lower rate to the closure of some schools due to financial challenges as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.

On her part, Mboko lauded the government for dispatching Principal Secretaries to assess general condition of schools countrywide, following resumption of learning which was interrupted in March last year after the first case of coronavirus was reported in the country.

She urged the government to provide schools with funds for infrastructural improvement to cope with the huge student population and also put in place the necessary measures in line with Covid protocols.

By Mohamed Hassan

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