Anxiety over President speech on school reopening and lockdown

Anxiety over President speech on school reopening and lockdown

President Uhuru Kenyatta IS set to hold a key meeting with stakeholders today Wednesday, to review COVID-19 measures following increased infections since last month.

Parents are anxious, with concerns that if schools are closed for the Form Four, Standard Eight and Grade 4, the school calendar will be thrown into disarray.

With Grade Four, Standard Eight and Form Four learners set to complete syllabus coverage and are guaranteed transition, Ministry of Education officials are pondering the consequences of keeping children at home, with potential backlog that would mess up education system.

After three failed attempts to open schools for Grade 1-3, Standard Five to Seven and Form One to Three due to unpredictable Covid-19 pattern, the stakeholders’ meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta today is set to make tough decisions.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the meeting would kick start discussions that would decide the learners’ fate.

“There is consultation at every level of government and as you are aware President Uhuru Kenyatta will engage governors and other stakeholders on November 4,” Prof Magoha had said.

The Council of Governors has demanded tougher containment measures, including the cessation of movement and more curfew hours, traders are reported to be opposed to it saying they stand to lose more.

It is this balancing act that the president will be placed on the table when he chairs the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC).

The president is expected to address the nation after the meeting.

“We are anxious because we don’t know what is ahead, we just hope he won’t decide to close again,” said Raphael Rotich, a trader in downtown Nairobi, “We stand to lose a lot.”

Kevin Njoroge, a public transport operator said “if he decides to close, we will incur more loses because this festive season is when we make money.”

Kenya was on a partial lockdown since March until August when restriction were eased and bars re-opened.

“We just hope he doesn’t close bars because I don’t think COVID-19 is spread in bars. All our patrons have been coming back since we re-opened which means they don’t get infected by coming,” said Lornah Njeri, a bar operator on Moi Avenue in the capital Nairobi.

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