Students thronged supermarkets and bus terminus across the country as schools reopened on Tuesday for the second term of the 2022 academic year.
And in what portends to be a demanding stretch for learners, teachers and parents due to the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic coupled up with the high cost of living, the upcoming general polls pose another challenge to the academic calendar.
Second term is scheduled to take ten weeks only with learners spending nine weeks in class, with one week break from August 6- 13 to compensate for the election period.
Margaret Thuita, a parent and also a vendor at Nandi Hills Wakulima market laments on the short amount of time that learners will have in class.
“It is a critical time as learners might lose more class time if there is a tiff in the presidential elections, since schools will be forced to close for the repeat of the election – if by any chance the Supreme Court nullifies the results of the elections,” she points out.
Isaac Kemboi, the Principal for Meteitei High School in Nandi County, adds that learners will miss out much in the co-curricular aspect.
“Second term is the time when ball games as well as music competitions happen. The government released the hold down on public gatherings but the congested programmes won’t allow for the resumption of the competitions,” he says.
A number of parents have lamented about the pressure to pay school fees with four terms squeezed between 2021 and 2022 to compensate for the time lost in the pandemic.
“With the high rate of inflation and cost of living, it is becoming hard to provide quality education to learners and thus, I might consider transferring my son to a day school,” Margaret laments.
Prices for some food items like maize and beans have increased more than double in the past six months. According to the Principal Secretary for Basic Education Dr. Julius Jwan, the government is working on a plan for schools to buy food directly from the National Cereals and Produce Board instead of the open market following a request by the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association.
By Collins Kiprotich