Schools all over the country on Monday,12 October resumed learning following the directive from Education CS George Magoha with grade 4 learners along with KCPE and KCSE candidates set to continue with in-person learning until December when they will break for a week, then resume studies on January 4th 2021.
However, it is not business as usual. The country has taken a serious economic hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the education sector has not been spared. This term, most bookshops and uniform centres remain closed given that parents did not flock bookshops and uniform centres in preparation for the new term, as is the norm. Business, for booksellers, is low, and the few parents who are purchasing books are only buying revision books, in readiness for the national examinations that will take place from March next year.
Tony Kisaka, a bookseller at one of the shops, while speaking to Capital FM, confirmed that the business is unexpectedly low with the few who visited limiting their purchases to Class 8 and Form 4 books.
“Parents are mostly buying set books and revision books, this year publishers will suffer since we are not giving them orders,” Kisaka said.
“Parents are only buying revision books and stationery. The business has been shaky since the pandemic struck the country,” another books seller, Faith Amina, added.
In some schools, parents and alumni had to liaise with the school administration and healthcare providers to enable testing. In Pangani Girls High School, the principal, Ms.Ngarari, and the Pangani Girls Alumni Association partnered with Metropolitan Hospital, Nairobi, to ensure that the form four students were tested and safe to proceed with their studies.
Meanwhile, in some schools, younger students experienced difficulty in maintaining social distance. Students were excited to see their friends once again, after schools remained shut for about 7 months due to COVID-19. It was a challenge to keep distance, especially during assemblies and parades.
The CS said that no child should be sent home because of fees in both private and public schools. He spoke on Monday when he coordinated the monitoring of reopening of schools at Olympic Primary School, in Nairobi.
The exercise will take place in schools all over the country under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission officials.
Featured image: Nation Africa