Parents of school going children have threatened to sue the State if it fails to order reopening of schools by September.
In a letter written to Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, the parents say there is no legal or scientific justification for extended closure of schools.
They argue countries like Sweden, UK, Japan, Germany, Italy, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, DRC and most States in the USA have reopened their learning institutions for in-person schooling, despite the covid-19 pandemic.
“Our instructions are to demand from you…that you forthwith declare -and not later than August 18 2020- the immediate resumption of open schools and learning institutions in Kenya, which in any event should be open not later than September 1, 2020,” read the written by lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui on behalf of the parents.
They cited the irony that children were being allowed to attend to all manner of activities including open-air markets, supermarkets, cafeterias, places of worship but not schools.
The parents also cited the confusion regarding the proposed January 2021 reopening, the CS having admitted that the closure could last past the said date.
“The overwhelming majority of Kenyan parents are ready and willing to provide their children with education as mandated by statutory but your ministry is the blockade irrationally standing in the way,” the demand letter stated.
The document raised concerns that the psychological and mental torture inflicted on school-going Kenyan children in
consequence of the open-ended closure of schools was gravely injurious to them.
The parents also faulted the announcement that learners would have to repeat their studies in 2021.
“Your ministry has purported to launch online learning programs that remain a pipe dream across Kenya.
“Your ministry has to accept the harsh truth that you are injuring helpless children and in fact abusing your power to force these children to stay at home against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of parents and rational stakeholders,” the parents criticised.
In July, Prof Magoha announced all basic learning institutions will re-open in January next year, as that is when the virus curve is expected to have flattened.
The Ministry shelved plans for phased reopening of schools that was scheduled to start in September following a rising covid-19 infection curve towards the set date.
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