It was chaos as usual as schools reopened in Kenya following an extended Covid-19 break. Parents, teachers, students and the government were seen making last minutes efforts to get the education machine running once again. Teachers were looking for notes, parents were desperately seeking for loans to pay school fees, and students were on the last minute working on their assignments.
But it is the government that was caught between a rock and a few more rocks.
The government wanted students to socially distance so that they would minimize the spread of Covid-19. It also needed more classrooms to enable that to happen. It also needed headteachers not to send students home for school fees, although there was no money forthcoming from the government. There were little options and the best that the government could do was to work with what was available.
Ridden with shame, the government sent children to study under the trees and admitted that it was impossible to build classrooms. Desks that had been ordered were nowhere to be found, and the only excuse the government had for all this mess was time.
“I wish we had nine months to prepare. We could have built classrooms, bought desks, hired more teachers, and trained school staff on how to fight Covid-19. It is a sad situation and there us nothing much we can do about it.”