The US government will help school children in Kenya in their home learning programmes, after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the shut down of schools. Speaking during an interview with West FM on Tuesday morning, US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter said the US will assist in ensuring children access and proceed with their virtual learning, “This does not apply to children in Nairobi alone, but all over the country.” He said all Counties will benefit from the intervention.
He said one of the biggest draw backs of the Coronavirus has been its effect on schools, with education being a big casualty. He pointed out that schools played an important role and without them, issues like teen pregnancies have weighed down the society, “Young people need the discipline of schools,” he said, adding that he hopes children can get back to school as soon as possible.
He also lauded decisions made by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Covid-19 pandemic, “You have to give credit where credit is due.” He said decisions at the moment are made following experiences, given that the pandemic is a new enemy. He supported President Kenyatta’s call not to impose a lockdown, saying one has to weigh the options, “You have to weigh in the effects on the economy and the secondary effects of a lockdown,” he stated, citing teen pregnancies, increase in domestic violence cases as secondary effects. “Telling people to stay home and not eat is not a good alternative.”
However, he said that the Covid-19 pandemic will test the strength of devolution, adding that Counties have to be prepared. He said the devolved units have to be fully supported to deal with Coronavirus cases and that funds have to be accounted for, “There needs to be an accountability of that money that goes to the Counties.” He decried Kenya’s corruption problem, terming it ‘the Kshs 800 billion problem’. He stated that the US government expects good utilization of funds given to Kenya, and money must serve its purposes.