Empty classrooms, abruptly deserted mid-March last year, are back to life once again and the chatter of children learning rings throughout our school. January 2021 has started on a high gear as the Kenyan Ministry of Education asked all schools to reopen following a 10 month break due to the global COVID19 pandemic. Although things look a little different in this Covid era, children, parents and teachers alike are excited to be back!
“Now that the 87 children are back to school, we have ensured safety measures were in place even before the official reopening of schools.” says our head teacher, Ms. Alice Wanjiru.
St. Vincent’s has invested in handwashing stations for each class and mounted posters on the school walls with key, child-friendly COVID19 messaging. Our teachers ensure children’s temperatures are taken upon their arrival each morning and all children and staff are required to wear masks properly and wash hands often with clean water and soap. Additional prevention measures put in place are designed to minimize contact among parents coming into the school premises and enable service delivery to be administered one parent at a time, as needed.
“One of the biggest reminders is that we need to be on the lookout for social distance among the children to ensure their safety,“ adds Teacher Alice. “Classrooms have markings on the floor where each child needs to sit to minimize any kind of transmission of COVID19 virus.”
While they continue to adjust to the new norms of mask wearing and more frequent hand washing, children were glad to be back from school after such a long break, as evidenced by their smiling faces (even detected under their masks!). Returning to school means the promise of two daily, nutritious meals, engagement from our teachers, and time to play in a safe and loving space with friends.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, Kenya has reported almost 97,000 Covid cases and more than 1,600 deaths since the start of the outbreak in March 2020. Over the weekend the Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, extended an overnight curfew until March to help prevent the spread of the virus in the country.
Covid prevention messaging
New handwashing stations added
Daily temperature checks
Social distancing cues in place
Happy to be back to 2 daily meals at school