With schools reopening on Monday following a close to 10 months shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some are still grappling with observing Covid-19 protocols such as social distancing due to lack of enough classrooms.
Speaking to the press at Webuye ACK primary school, which has more than 2,000 pupils, the deputy headteacher Mrs. Mary Wabululu said maintaining social distancing is not only a pipe dream but it’s not achievable since the school has several challenges. She said some private schools have been closed by the government and the school has enrolled many new students as a result.
She also revealed that many pupils went to school without masks, since parents can’t afford quality ones. She has appealed to well wishers, the Webuye East CDF office, the County government of Bungoma and the national government to intervene and help them to set up more classrooms. According to Mr. Amos Wafula who is in charge of admissions at the school, almost all pupils turned up on opening day, something that isn’t the norm.
The school’s board chairman Mr. Moses Awino said one of the buildings that has 4 classrooms was condemned by the Public Works office three years ago but they’ve been forced to use it in order to accommodate the large number of pupils. He urged Governor Wycliffe Wangamati to honor the pledge he made in 2018, that he’ll donate Kshs 1 million to the school, saying it will come in handy at the moment. He further revealed that the school hasn’t received any desks.
KNUT Bungoma East secretary Mr. Aggrey Namisi said after visiting several schools, he noticed that many students don’t have masks and the risk of Covid-19 spreading fast is high. He has urged the national government to fast track the release of funds to schools, so that handwashing points can be set up, masks can be bought and classes constructed. He said Education CS Prof. George Magoha should stop empty rhetoric and go to the schools to see the real problems facing students.