Primary and secondary school learners in Migori County streamed back to class yesterday amid strict adherence to health protocols in their respective institutions to help curb coronavirus infections.
A spot-check by KNA at Ombo, Muslim and Migori primary schools and Kadika girls secondary found enthusiastic learners especially at the primary level who arrived in their respective schools as early as 6 am ready to go on with lessons.
Tired of the long school holiday imposed by coronavirus, the young learners from nursery to class eight and in higher learning institutions were visibly happy to be re-united again with their long lost friends.
The re-opening of the 618 primary and 123 secondary public schools in the region came amid re-assurance by the area County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich that the administration in the area was doing everything possible to get all learners back to school.
“We have directed all national government administration officers to work overtime to ensure that not a single learner remains idle at home,” he said.
In an interview with KNA, Mr. Cherutich also said that no secondary school principal will send students away due to lack of school fees.
“The directive from Cabinet Secretary George Magoha is that no student will be sent back home because of lacking fees. As the people on the ground, we are therefore keen to enforce this directive strictly with a view to making all learners continue with their education smoothly,” he added.
County Director of Education Elizabeth Otieno confirmed the smooth reopening of schools in the area, explaining that all of them had met all the measures spelt out by the Ministry of Health as a step to ensure the safety of learners in their respective schools.
“The schools have acquired enough water and sanitizers for hand washing. They have also ensured that all learners have face-masks and are ready to observe social distancing all the time while in class,” she said.
A number of schools had also received desks and lockers which the government supplied to ensure learners’ social distancing is achieved in classes. Each of the eight sub-counties in Migori County is supposed to be supplied with 2,000 desks and lockers, a number that will see very few schools benefiting.
But union officials led by Chairman Rongo KNUT branch Mr. Samwel Omwaga said the issue of social distancing among primary learners was still a challenge because of lack of enough desks and classrooms.
“All schools have not received the government desks and most schools lack classrooms, so observing total social distancing may not be a reality in these institutions,” he said.
On their part, parents said they were happy to have their children back in school but appealed to the government to ensure that all classroom condition met the spelt-out health protocol on social distancing.
Some parents however said they had transferred their children from private schools to public schools where the adherence to health protocols on coronavirus was a bit good.
By George Agimba