Enrollment surge in public schools as parents transfer learners from private

Enrollment surge in public schools as parents transfer learners from private

Learners continue to troop back to schools on the second day of reporting as hundreds of schools grappled with social distance challenge.

The first day of reporting to school received an average turn-out across the country with a number of schools spreading out reporting dates to avoid congestion.

At Starehe boys centre, form four candidates reported first, followed by form three students who return today (Tuesday) while form two’s and form one’s on Wednesday.

St Georges girls Nairobi will continue to receive students until Friday this week.

Schools in Kenya reopened Monday after being closed since March due to the coronavirus.

Public schools that are already overcrowded and with overstretched resources continue to witness an influx of new students after most parents opted to transfer their children from private schools.

Some of the parents said they could no longer afford school fees charged in private schools after they lost their income due to the pandemic. Others sought transfers after a number of private schools shut down as owners resorted to other business ventures to survive.

In Murangá many parents have opted to shift their children from private to public primary schools prompting an influx of new students in the institutions.

Some schools already have stopped intakes of new students as the available opportunities are full.

At Murang’a Technology and Vidhu Ramji primary schools located within Murang’a town, new parents have been flocking the institutions seeking admissions for their children.

Murang’a Technology Primary School Headmistress Ms Beatrice Wachira said the school’s population has gone up to about 1, 400 from 980 learners previously.

She said the capacity of the institution is stretched and they may be forced not to admit any more new pupils.

Wachira, however, said the school’s administration has put in place the needed preparations as required by the Ministry of Health to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

She noted that they have increased water points for learners to wash their hands.

A spot check at Vidhu Ramji and neighbouring Mbiri primary schools Monday morning established long queues of parents seeking admission of their children.

In Mombasa, classes resumed in both public and private schools despite various challenges encountered, including transport crisis for learners travelled from upcountry.

The turn out was however impressive as confirmed by Regional Commissioner Coast (RC) John Elungata when he made an impromptu visit at Maji Ya Chumvi Primary School in the sub-county of Samburu, Kwale County to access the re-opening of schools.

Speaking at Maji Ya Chumvi School Elungata said the region had recorded 85 per cent turn out on the first day of reporting promising that by the end of this week all learners will have gone back.

The administrator said Mombasa was leading more than 85 per cent followed by Kilifi and Taita-Taveta Counties, Lamu and Tana River Counties had a low of 75pc which he attributed to the pastoral nature of the two counties.

Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha had earlier told public schools to admit learners who want to shift from private institutions.

His directive is expected to prompt a high population of learners in public schools after some private institutions opted to close shop.

Meanwhile, private schools have appealed to the national government to assist them with some funds to cope with the challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemic, as schools reopen countrywide.

Speaking as they received pupils in the school, Chemitan Academy director Leonard Koech said private schools are struggling, calling on the government to come to their rescue.

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