By Linneah Lijodi
Schools in this Covid times were closed indefinitely seven months later, they are reopened and the situation in the slum areas is dire Mukuru kwa Njenga has only two public schools, Mukuru kwa Njenga and Mukuru community center which cannot cater for all the children in Mukuru kwa Njenga ward. A lot of kids in this area go to schools that are unregistered and do not have qualified teachers, due to lack of resources most teachers tend to start schools to help most kids who need an education.
After schools have reopened in this Covid 19 times, most of the unregistered schools could not reopen because they were renting premises and survive on the monthly school fees contribution. With the schools being closed for 7 months’ schools did not have diverse ways of generating income hence teachers had to look for other means of survival. Kids were sent home with uncertainty now coming back to school after a long seven months. Some schools have been turned into rental houses because the schools couldn’t pay rent Most grade four & class 8 pupils who were in this are stranded, Mostly the candidates because they had already registered for exams.
Most schools were closed and classrooms turned into households. This schools do help a great deal but they can also be a pain in the neck for parents of class 8 pupils whose schools are closed they are devastated. Some kids have not reported back to school, some were taken to up country when the pandemic hit, others mostly girls are married or engage into drug and substance abuse. We have to agree that in the informal settlement most kid’s future has been cut short by either drugs & substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and petty crimes.
The now opened schools are really trying to observe the said guidelines. Education is very important but social distancing in this times is not easy. Most of the schools we need to understand that they do not have space not even play areas, so social distancing is quite hard to maintain. Kids are trying to catch up with their studies but from my observation this week, most schools in my area did not participate in Kenya national examination council assessment test that was done this week. Kids are excited to be back in school they have had a very long holiday, some of them have out grown their uniforms and shoes
The ones who have closed their schools with no hope of reopening I spoke to some of them who confirmed to have changed their line of business and are now engaged else where they seem to be concerned about their kids but they can do little or nothing to help them. Now parents have to look for other options to ensure that their children are back to school. With the special planning area, we hope that more public schools will be built to in giving quality education to these children and helping them to nurture their talents which is very essentials in the growth of this children.
Every child deserves safe hands government should set up basic hand washing facilities in at least every school to ensure the safety of our children in this hard times.