What you need to know:
- Decision to reopen schools as scheduled is a relief to parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders in education.
- Opening of schools will ensure learners’ academic life is back on track in a reasonably short time after the nine-month disruption last year.
It’s clear schools will open for the third term on May 10 as scheduled after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pronouncement on Labour Day. The country is still grappling with Covid-19 infections but the decision to reopen schools as scheduled is a relief to parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders in education who would not want to see any more disruptions of the academic calendar.
Opening of schools will ensure learners’ academic life is back on track in a reasonably short time after the unprecedented nine-month disruption last year. However, the resumption comes with a heavy responsibility to those in charge of the students starting from parents, school managers, education officials and communities to ensure there is minimum risk of transmission of Covid-19 within learning spaces.
The government is doing its part in monitoring the rate of infections and taking other measures to limit the spread of the virus and promote the safe reopening of our schools. The government has also ensured that there is adequate public education on the Covid-19 besides prioritising the vaccination of teachers.
Don’t take chances
The heavy responsibility is with the managers, teachers and by extension their students. Managers and staff, learners should ensure strict adherence to all Covid-19 preventive protocols. Schools can be safe, evident from few cases of transmission during the second term. But only if those in charge ensure the adherence to all strategies for early detection, isolation, and treatment of any potential Covid-19 cases in schools.
This is critical in preventing the spread of the disease among pupils, students and staff. Parents should ensure their children have enough face masks for the term. Importance of washable mask cannot be over emphasised in cutting the risk of spread.
Although the government often resorts to school closure for pandemic control, it’s a matter of not taking chances. As schools reopen, the government should ensure constant reviews geared towards children’s safety.
Dr Kapkiai is a lecturer at Kisii University, Eldoret Campus. email@example.com