KENYA: Council of Churches Calls for Tightened Covid -19 Safety Measures in School

By Njoki Githinji

NAIROBI, JANUARY 8, 2021 (CISA)-The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has called for continued effort to ensure safety measures are fully in place to protect students from Covid-19 as schools reopened January 4.

“We have noted that there is need for continued investment in the schools to ensure control measures are effectively implemented. We urge the government to fast-track the payment and delivery of desks that were procured last year, and to facilitate construction of class rooms. This is critical in view of the rise in number of leaners in public schools following closure of many private institutions,” the council said in  January 7 statement signed by Canon Chris Kinyanjui, Secretary General of NCCK.

The council urged schools to support students whose lives were disrupted during the pandemic to smoothly resume learning.

“We call upon school administrators to allow learners whose lives were disrupted during the pandemic, especially girls who either got pregnant or were dragged into early marriages, to resume learning,” the statement reads.

Further while urging parents and guardians to uphold Civid-19 prevention measures, the council noted that it would help avert a possible third wave of the pandemic.

“For the parents and guardians, we wish to highlight that the reopening of schools does not mean an end of the pandemic. Please maintain preventive measures at home to protect yourselves and the members of your family. In this way, we will all together forestall a third wave of Covid-19 infections,” it reads.

The council affirmed readiness to offer church facilities to schools that may need extra space for classrooms, and to provide spiritual support to schools amid the pandemic.

“We affirm that the church facilities across the country are available for schools that may need to use them as classrooms to ease congestion. Our clergy and professionals are also ready and willing to provide spiritual and psychosocial support to learners and teachers to enable them cope with the pandemic control measures,” the council said.

The council expressed concern about the deepening crisis in the health sector and urged government to address concerns of the health workers.