New Normal Way Of Life

November 2, 2020

We started our Choice Club activities last week by visiting Kimuka School. It was a happy reunion with the Form 4 Class after 7 months of disruption due to the Covid pandemic. The girls were in high spirits and were as excited to see us as we were to see them. The club patron had called us and asked that we engage the girls as it has been very hard for them to adjust after being home for so long. Life has drastically changed for these girls, being in school during this time is hard for them. Life at home is very different than the requirements of being in school.

Waking up early is one of the greatest challenges the girls face. They had gotten used to waking up late at home and sleeping whenever they wanted. There was a lot of non-structured time spent on social media, meeting friends, sleeping and basically, being idle. The school requires that the girls wake up by 4.30 am and finish classes after 10 pm due to evening classes. This being a candidate class, they are under a lot of pressure from all the teachers to perform because of the upcoming exams. Poor diet, wearing of masks, separation from their families were other challenges the girls said causes them to struggle.

Some of the girls resumed school without personal supplies and tuition fees because their parents could not afford to give them any money. Many parents have lost their source of income which has negatively affected the students. It is hard for a child to concentrate in school when they have dire personal challenges.

The students are also in fear of getting infected by the corona virus and that makes them very apprehensive. There is a second wave of the virus, and this one seems to be worse than the first attack. The numbers of those affected keeps going up and some parents are requesting the government to close schools once again. This is not likely to happen but the uncertainty lends to the fear and confusion.

We encouraged the girls to stay positive and focus on reading, and not to compare school life to life at home, so they do well on their exams. The luxuries they so badly desire can only be obtained when they finish school and obtain good grades, so they can buy these items for themselves. Wearing of masks is not easy at all; the children feel like they are suffocating, and they wish they did not have to wear them. We have emphasized the need for them to wear the masks, not only for themselves but for everyone else. Theft of masks amongst the girls is another challenge they face.

We will continue to visit the schools and offer mentorship and counselling services. Schools close on the 23rd of December. The girls will be home for only one week then classes will resume again. The primary exams will tentatively start in March next year, so there is little time left before they sit their final exams.

The girls at Kimuka School listening to advice on how to handle the new normal way of life.

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