- Daily Nation
Students and pupils from across the country have already had a taste of open-air classrooms following the reopening of Schools on January 4, 2021.
Schools from across the country have embarked on learning and a section seems to have taken up Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha's challenge to school learners under tree sheds.
The CS had urged school heads to be innovative and explore tree sheds as classrooms. This is in line with the government's directive to ensure social distancing in schools, in the fight against Covid-19 in the country.A teacher and pupils under a tree at Mweiga Primary School in Nyeri on January 4, 2021.Daily Nation
A number of schools have settled into the 'new normal' with teachers and learners embracing the directive from the CS.
Magoha had, however, faced criticism from a section of Kenyans after he made the remarks which he has come out strongly to defend.
In an interview with Citizen TV on January 3, 2021, the CS stated that during this period of the pandemic, open-air classrooms are the best in his opinion as they have a free flow of air and an abundance of oxygen.
In photos seen by Kenyans.co.ke, schools such as Mweiga Primary School in Nyeri had a significant number of pupils learning under trees as part of efforts to maintain social distance.
Nairobi County Education and Sports Executive Janet Ouko on January 4, argued that the rest of the country ought to adjust to the current situation as some marginalised areas have been used to learning under such conditions.Grade 4 pupils study under a tree at Seriani Primary School in Baringo South on January 4, 2021Daily Nation
"Do Kenyans know there are children in Turkana who have learnt under trees their whole lives? We need to come out of the classroom mentality. Learning can take place anywhere. Uniform should also not stop a learner from going to school," Ms Ouko opined.
Kisumu Boys High School employed the use of tents in the establishment of extra learning spaces for students.
However, as some schools reopen with ease some continue to face challenges. A number of schools are unable to accommodate their students' population if they are to adhere to the set health guidelines.
For instance, Arunda Primary School in Homa Bay County, according to Headteacher Fred Kayaga, has over 1000 pupils but only 10 classrooms. He urged that the school be allowed to study in shifts as to accommodate the population and equally maintain social distancing.
"The challenge we have is that the population is big but the space is small. In Arunda here we don't have a big playground or even big trees where these pupils can study. We don't have the capacity to accommodate them all at a go," Kayaga stated.Pupils study under trees at Mudembi Primary School in Budalangi, Busia County on January 4, 2021.Citizen Digital
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