Prioritise our children, not politicians

Standard Eight pupils at Sosiani Primary School in Eldoret Town, Uasin Gishu County, on October 12. Covid-19 has made running a school more challenging than before.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mr Odinga recently insisted that BBI should not be shelved because of Covid-19.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought unimagined challenges, that were not anticipated.

Millions of our children are at home, not in school, because of lack of enough classes to guarantee social distancing in our institutions of learning.

Education is the single most important channel of inculcating values and nurturing cognitive development as well as enhancing social development in our children.

While I do agree that there is need to provide other Covid-19 mitigation resources to our children, the most important resource is social distancing in schools.

Given that Covid-19 pandemic will not wane any time soon, there is urgent need to do what we can do as a country to get our children back to school.

I, therefore, wish to challenge our leadership to stop the current campaigns on BBI and, instead, as a matter of urgency, divert all BBI resources to constructing enough classes in schools.

The Sh14 billion projected to be used in the referendum can put up an additional 20,000 classes which can accommodate 700,000 learners with social distancing.

With existing classes, the additional 20,000 ones can effectively mitigate crowding in our schools and get our children back in class.

I don't agree with ODM party leader Raila Odinga. I respect him a lot. Mr Odinga recently insisted that BBI should not be shelved because of Covid-19.

Covid-19 is not an ordinary challenge. Famine and droughts are scientifically predictable.

The weatherman has predicated there will be insufficient October-December rains and the March-April rainfall season for the year 2021 has also been predicated to be insufficient.

These predictions are supposed to help governments plan and the calamities are not a pandemic.

While Kenya may suffer droughts, other countries may have plenty of food and we can import. Covid-19 is a global challenge. It is a disease that can claim many lives and put to a stop learning and economic recovery if we do not prioritise our resources in fighting the pandemic.

BBI can wait, schooling cannot wait. BBI is a political tool meant to serve politicians, it does not de-congest our schools but it creates room for more political positions.

BBI does not eliminate tribalism, a well-structured education system can instill patriotism and eliminate tribalism among our children.

Let us prioritise our children's education, not our politicians’ quest for power.

Patrick Mbuvi Mutua, Makueni

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