Parents Face Difficulties as Schools Reopen.
Students flocked to supermarkets and bus stops across the country on Tuesday as schools reopened for the second term of the 2022 academic year.
And, in what is shaping up to be a demanding stretch for students, teachers, and parents due to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, as well as the high cost of living, the upcoming general elections add another challenge to the academic calendar.
The second term is only scheduled to last ten weeks, with students spending nine weeks in class and one week off from August 6-13 to accommodate the election period.
Margaret Thuita, a parent and vendor at Nandi Hills Wakulima market, laments the limited time students will have in class.
“It is a critical time as learners might lose more class time if there is a tiff in the presidential elections since schools will be forced to close for the repeat of the election – if by any chance the Supreme Court nullifies the results of the elections,” she points out.
Isaac Kemboi, Principal of Meteitei High School in Nandi County, adds that students will miss out on a lot of extracurricular activities.
“Second term is the time when ball games, as well as music competitions, happen. The government released the hold down on public gatherings but the congested programs won’t allow for the resumption of the competitions,” he says.
A number of parents have expressed concern about the pressure to pay school fees, with four terms crammed between 2021 and 2022 to make up for time lost due to the pandemic.
“With the high rate of inflation and cost of living, it is becoming hard to provide quality education to learners and thus, I might consider transferring my son to a day school,” Margaret laments.
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Prices for some foods, such as maize and beans, have more than doubled in the last six months.
Following a request from the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association, the government is working on a plan for schools to buy food directly from the National Cereals and Produce Board rather than the open market, according to Dr. Julius Jwan, Principal Secretary for Basic Education.