Parents, heads raise concerns about Covid-19 safety in schools.
Parents and principals have raised concerns about school renovations as the government says the reopening is May 10.
They raised financial issues, vaccination of teachers and whether schools were ready to administer health guidelines and procedures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
The chairman of the Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (Kepsha), Johnson Nzioka, said the government had not yet released the funds.
“The money raised from schools last term was used to pay the lenders,” said Mr Nzioka, adding that the association had called on teachers to be vaccinated.
High school colleague Kahi Indimuli said the institutions would need more money, adding that teachers were ready to open.
“We call on the Department of Education to provide a 30% subsidy for the third time in a row,” said the director of the Kenya Secondary School Headteachers Association (Kessha).
The Deputy Secretary-General of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), Moses Nthurima, has also called on the government to expedite funding for schools.
“We will not stop teaching and learning because of Covid-19,” said Mr Nthurima.
Management has also raised the issue of teacher vaccinations. Only 135,975 teachers have been vaccinated against coronavirus, according to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.
Recent data from the Teachers Service Commission shows that there are 330,671 teachers in public schools and 158,000 in private institutions.
It means that more than half of the teaching power was not vaccinated against a deadly disease.
Mr Nthurima called on the government to ensure that teachers receive firearms, adding that the commission should consider reducing the workload of teachers with health problems.
Parents interviewed by Sunday Nation yesterday said the Department of Education must ensure that the health policies developed last year are adhered to by schools.
Music and games
Mr Ibrahim Otieno, who has a child at Kisii High School, said the government needed to develop guidelines for educational institutions before May 10.
“The department should send inspectors to schools. It should ensure that schools have access to tap water, soap and sanitiser, ”said Mr Otieno.
National Parents Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo said the safety of students should be emphasized when schools reopened.
“What worries us the most is the emergence of a new version of Covid-19 reported in India. The government must ensure that there are no flights in Kenya from that country, ”said Mr Maiyo.
He added that a meeting with parent organizations from 47 districts had decided to involve the Department of Education in strengthening coronavirus safety measures in schools and colleges.
Schools need to have taps, water and soap for children to wash their hands, according to guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Education last year.
Schoolwork was permanently suspended.
Principals say schools are facing a crisis as government funding for January has run out.
Mr Indimuli said it was easy to stop students from playing and engaging in after-school activities in January.
“These young people need to get involved in music, sports and other things to do their best. It is not easy to stop them from work when they are at school, ”said Mr Indimuli.
He called on the government to allow sports and other competitions in educational institutions.