According to the report which was shared yesterday reveals that those parents whose children learn in private schools across the county may be forced to transfer them to public schools.
While speaking to the media , Constance Ambasa, the Western Region Private Schools Association Secretary-General, explained that the impact of the global pandemic has been hardest felt by private schools.
“We rely on school fees that parents pay for our survival and when schools were closed in March this year, we used the little we had to run the school hoping that by May, the situation would have normalised. The ripple effects of the closure of schools are very devastating,” he stated.
He went on to reveal that the region was experiencing a new low following the pandemic, with teaching staff who were unable to pay rent as well as providing for their basic needs currently staying within the school premises where they were also provided with food.
A survey carried out by the Standard in the country’s region produced worrying results, with several private schools confirming that they had not only sent their teachers away on unpaid leave, but also notified parents to consider transferring their children to other schools.
Ruth Minish, the director of Fesbeth Academy in Kakamega painted a grim picture of the situation in the region and simply said that the school was currently unable to meet operational costs. “Everyone has been affected and the situation is dire,” she stated.
Some of the schools have resorted to closing down in totality after finding it impossible to stay afloat under current conditions.
Kenya’s schoolchildren, estimated to be more than 15 million, can be termed as the latest casualties of the global pandemic following the major disruption to their calendar year.
On July 7, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha announced the suspension of the school calendar in 2020.
Primary and secondary school learners will repeat classes when schools reopen in January, the CS directed.
He further cancelled this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations that were to begin in October as he declared 2020 a dead academic year.
This, arguably, effectively sealed the fate of a majority of the struggling private schools.
To compound the matter, the CS directed primary and secondary school heads to refund or give credit notes to parents who had paid the 2020 academic year fees in advance.
However, the government allowed universities, technical training institutions and teacher training colleges to reopen in September as long as they adhere to guidelines given by the Ministry of Health.