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Close schools to avert Covid-19 threats

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Gender and children rights activists from the Coast region are calling on the government to shut down schools until early January 2021.

The activists say opening the schools for Grade-4, class 8 and form four is subjecting learners to health threat.

Haki Africa Deputy Executive Director Salma Hemed said all students and pupils should be allowed to remain at home until the coronavirus pandemic bus completely tamed in the country.

“We are using our children to taste the waters before fully resumption of learning. This is very dangerous,” noted Ms Hemed.

She said the government recklessly opened schools without necessarily considering the vulnerability of the children.

“Though some of our children are in school they are in fear and they will not make a great achievement in their studies,” noted the gender and children rights activist.

She said the closure of Star if the Sea primary and secondary schools and the Tononoka Boys secondary school is a clear sign that the health of the learners is threatened.

The three schools were closed and children ordered to go back home after 11 Tononoka Boys secondary school teachers and 4 others from Star of the Sea primary and secondary schools contracted Covid-19.

Health officials have for the last one week fumigated the learning institutions.

Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said learning in those schools will resume after two weeks.

However, parents have raised concerns over the safety of their children some clearly saying that they will not take back their children in those three schools.

Meanwhile, Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha has said children who are at home will remain at home until the government announces fresh opening dates.

Magoha said the surging Covid-19 cases has forced the Ministry to weigh the situation before it allows the remaining lot back in class.

“However, I want to caution the private and international schools against sending children to school before the government official announcement,” said Magoha.