Students return to class in Kenya after 6 months

Nairobi, Oct 12 (efe-epa).- The first students returned to their classrooms in Kenya on Monday after schools were closed for six months due to the pandemic.

Rows of children in uniform and masks were seen at primary and secondary schools across the country, as pupils waited to have their temperatures taken and wash their hands before entering the building.

“The schools I visited this morning made me happy. While keeping physical distance remains a challenge for us, it should not be an impediment to reopening schools,” education minister George Magoha said at Olympic Primary School in Nairobi.

Magoha announced last week that upper primary, lower secondary and senior secondary students would return to the classrooms on Monday to take exams at the end of March.

There will be a staged return to classes for the rest of the country’s children that differs from the normal school year in Kenya, which runs from January to November, with long vacations in November, December and mid-January, and end-of-year exams in the first weeks of November.

The first pupils went back to class after more than six months out of school in a country where remote education and online teaching are difficult.

At Moi Primary School, the only public school in central Nairobi, classes were at around half their normal sizes.

“They have enough space because only year four and eight have returned, so they can even use other classrooms,” headteacher Ruth Chirchir told Efe.

It has not been announced when the rest of the students will return but this could pose a problem for Kenyan schools as classes can have up to 60 children in them.

“We will cross that bridge when we get to it. For now we have space, when the others arrive then we will know what to do but we don’t even know when they will be back,” Chirchir added.

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