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The overcrowding challenge as in-class learning resumes – KBC | Kenya’s Watching

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More than 15 million learners countrywide returned to school on Monday, 10 months after the school calendar was disrupted by the covid-19 pandemic.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has however acknowledged that crowding remains a major challenge, especially given the current requirement for social distancing.

Speaking during a tour of Olympic Primary School in Kibra where he had gone to assess the reopening, the CS noted that that “apart from overcrowding, everything else is normal.”

He disclosed that due to high numbers, some schools, especially in the city, are experiencing congestion rendering the learning environment inconducive. Prof. Magoha was however quick to point out that this was not going to derail the resumption of in-class learning as this is being addressed progressively.

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“To ensure we don’t have a crisis here, even though we had delivered the economic stimulus package desks, I have decided because the President gave me powers to vary one or two things, that we shall give another 140 desks to this school,” Magoha said

This variation of desks, Mogaha says, is meant to address the pressure that may be exerted in some schools.

The headache is perhaps exacerbated by the fact that a number of schools, primarily private, have closed downed and learners in the affected institutions are out looking for placements in government schools.

This has seen a high number of parents and their children stranded in various schools, like in the case of Olympic Primary Monday morning, as they await admission.

“Parents seeking placements for their children, this school will not be available. You can see for yourselves, this school is 4700. We are trying to avoid a situation where children overrun a popular school like Olympic primary in Kibra. ” Magoha remarked

The Education Cabinet Secretary however gave the assurance that every child will be accommodated.

“The work of the parent is to bring the child to school. If there is no space, county education directors will ensure that the child is admitted where there is a vacancy.” He said

He said no child will be turned away due to lack of space and reiterated that it was the responsibility of the government to provide education.

“If you know of a child who has gone to a government school and cannot be placed in that school and another one then tell us and we shall act.” He charged

Parents and their children stranded in Olympic Primary as they await admission. PHOTO / KAMCHE MENZA

The CS expressed satisfaction with the manner in which children, parents, and teachers have all responded to the call to return back to school saying, the current challenges notwithstanding, the situation will get better.

“We need to work together. The body and spirit of the teacher, the body and spirit of children, do they require encouragement or discouragement, let us encourage them.” He said

“We may not be perfect, there are very many children here. If the water becomes a problem we are on standby to ensure that they have water and that they are able to wash their hands.” He added

According to Mogaha, the entirety of children in school are properly masked. He said the government has provided most of the masks donned by the learners with support from development partners.

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