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Editorials

EDITORIAL: Don’t rush reopening

school children
It is too early to expose young people, especially school children, to possible infections. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya should carefully study other African countries, especially Tanzania and South Africa, which have signalled that they could soon reopen schools. Such a move is fraught with risks and will require careful consideration.

Already, where this has happened in some European countries like France, the number of infections went up by 70 new cases just days after the children were exposed when their schools reopened. This is a route that Kenya should be careful to avoid.

Even in the face of growing voices that the economy should be reopened, it is still too early to expose young people, especially school children, to possible infections.

What needs to be done is to find ways in which learners can benefit from homeschooling, while also ensuring that even the poor are not left behind, difficult as this task is.

There needs to be more synergy between the Ministry of Education and private broadcasters so that they can create segments and channels through which children of different ages can have access to learning materials.

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The idea of empowering communities to start libraries and creating space and time for young people to study should also be explored by encouraging book donations within communities.

The government should also explore the possibility of working with grassroots institutions to loan reading materials to schools. Such materials can be returned once infections are under control. The government can then undertake to compensate those who offer such solutions that prevent or reduce inequality of opportunity.

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