By Peter Amunga
What the president told us during his state of the nation address is.. that his government has no funds, no preparation, no human resource to handle education and ensure safety for our schools. Uhuru told Kenyans that they are now on their own as concerns education. Make no mistake. Do not try to sugarcoat the speech. There was no concrete roadmap given by H.E. for full reopening of schools.
He failed to give a plan, or way forward on the safety of teachers or learners during the second wave of the covid 19 pandemic that has hit Kenya. Researchers are warning that by January, the figures we are seeing today of infections and deaths would have tripled. We are on our own.
The full back to school message, is wishful thinking and lip service from the president. We all know, no public school in Kenya is ready to receive all the learners during this pandemic.
The government has not made any financial or political commitment to reopen with Covid-19 still ravaging us. Any talk of back to school without a clear Covid-19 management strategy cannot be taken seriously by any professional.
This government has told parents and teachers that we are on our own with regard to COVID-19 treatment. NHIF will not treat any teacher or child who gets infected while in school. We are on our own. The govt expects that by January Kenyans, teachers and learners will on their own, defeat the pandemic and be ready to enter the underfunded, congested schools.
Ironically, while the government has told Kenyans that they are on their own, it appears that there are funds, somewhere, to be spent on a referendum. Our priorities are completely upside down.
The long and short of it is that the education system in the country is in a free fall.
The situation is not helped at all by the fact that the Ministry of Education is under the leadership of a clueless bully called Prof. Magoha.
Magoha, the bully, does not even know where to begin. He has made so many blunders and issued numerous conflicting statements on Back to School.
Meanwhile, the educationists in his ministry are terrified of him. They shake like a leaf whenever they see him.
They cannot help him plan reopening. They all keep quiet and let him do all the talking. Then they echo his “wisdom.” Kenya is in a bad place.
Uhuru Kenyatta government has thrown the education sector under the bus. In the next 2 months, schools will reopen on full scale, yet no preparations or funding has been done to keep learners and teachers safe. We are on our own.