Covid-19 has killed 13 school principals so far, says Kessha

Education officials at KICD Nairobi

Kessha chair Kahi Indimuli, Knec acting CEO Mercy Karogo, Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion and KICD council chair Sara Ruto after a meeting with stakeholders on November 16, 2020.

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kessha’s chair Kahi Indimuli did not name the affected schools but noted that a high infection rate among institutions' managers will negatively affect learning.
  • Mr Indimuli said learners will stay in school longer as Kenya seeks to be at the same level as other East African countries.

The Covid-19 coronavirus disease has killed 13 principals since the phased reopening of schools began in October, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) has said.

Kessha’s chair Kahi Indimuli did not name the affected schools in the report he gave on Tuesday but noted that a high infection rate among institutions' managers will negatively affect learning.

The Tononoka High School principal is among the 13 school heads who have died of the disease.

"I want you to know Covid-19 is here and is affecting us," Mr Indimuli said, and urged strict adherence to anti-virus regulations to ensure the resumption of learning is smooth when all schools reopen on January 4.

The chair noted that teachers are currently having a difficult time managing the few learners already in school as most of them were not used to wearing masks, washing their hands regularly and observing other measures aimed at curbing the virus.

"Parents should be vigilant. We advise [you to ensure] children get used to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health,” said Mr Indimuli, who is also Machakos Boys’ principal.

Regarding the new academic calendar, Mr Indimuli said learners will stay in school longer as Kenya seeks to be at the same level as other East African countries.

Several of Kenya’s neighbours reopened their learning institutions earlier after recording declines in their numbers of Covid-19 cases.

Rushed programme

Schools are expected to reopen in January for second term learning under the disrupted 2020 academic year that will end on July 16, 2021.

The 2022 academic year will begin on April 25 that year, for a marathon programme expected to assert much pressure on education stakeholders, parents included.

"We hope Covid-19 will be contained in time so that learning is not disrupted again," Mr Indimuli said, adding the 30 weeks are enough to complete syllabi.

He spoke in Vihiga County, where he distributed text books to community libraries at Kisangula, Wangulu and Chavakali.

The books were donated by various publishers, among them the Kenya Literature Bureau that gave books worth Sh1 million, Longhorn (Sh340,000), Moran (Sh264,000) and Mountain View (Sh120,000).

The principal said another publisher, Spotlight, will also make a donation.

The initiative is intended to nurture the reading culture among learners who have had a long stay at home due to the pandemic.

DMusalia@ke.nationmedia.com

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