Classes Resume

January 18, 2021

Our school runs have started for 2021. There are mixed reactions from both the teachers and the students. We had only the candidate classes resume last year after 8 months at home. With the new year, all classes have resumed and the teachers are quite overwhelmed. Some students have transferred schools, especially the Form 1 classes. Some schools have lost teachers who have also moved to other schools. Some teachers have lost their jobs due to Covid, and the children are having a hard time adjusting to tight schedules coupled with the shortage of teachers.

We anticipated challenges with the new norm of social distancing, wearing of masks and the frequent washing of hands. One of the biggest challenges we have witnessed is the lack of school facilities to facilitate learning. The student numbers remain high, which is common in most schools. Those that were not able to construct new classrooms have been forced to conduct classes out in the open. Studying under trees is a common occurrence, never mind the elements; it has been very hot and when rain hits it comes down in torrents.

Our task at the moment is to help the students adjust to the new environment, encouraging the students to make do with what is available, and to read hard. Those in Form 4 sit their final exams in April, and they will be ready to join college.

Our Choice Club activities continue with the members we had started with before Covid hit. We had covered most of the curriculum. We will do a recap and then progress with the remaining topics. We will then graduate these members in April and form new groups in June.

Our Pokot girls have resumed teaching in their schools. Alexine has moved to Nairobi, and she hopes to get a teaching job here. The demand for good teachers is high because the schools need a lot of support especially for the younger children in Primary School. The Ministry of Education is very strict on the schools adherance to the rules set out to prevent the spread of Covid. Being in school is hard enough as it is, children lose their masks all the time, there is rampant theft of masks. The teachers feel that they have not received enough support from the Ministry of Education. The students are either taught out in the open or sent  home. The teachers have opted to teach in the outdoors, so that the children in the poor areas can catch up and be ready to sit for the exams, country wide. 

Studying under trees as teachers try to maintain social distancing 

Primary School children studying under a tree as the teachers implement the social distancing rules. There are not enough facilities for most schools. 

Njabini Girls Choice Club members getting a briefing as schools open.

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