Government Urged to Extend School Holidays Due to Heavy Rains

April 29, 2024

Thika MP Alice Wambui Ng’ang’a has urged the government to consider extending school holidays by one week to shield learners from the havoc caused by the ongoing heavy rains.

The MP argued that reopening schools amidst the continuing heavy rains, which have resulted in deaths and property destruction, could exacerbate the situation.

At least 80 fatalities have been reported due to the heavy rains, leading to flooded rivers, estates, and roads, as well as house destruction and disruptions in various parts of the country.

Speaking in her constituency, the MP emphasized that extending the holiday by a week would allow the government to monitor the rain situation and devise a safer return-to-school plan.

The lawmaker stated that if learners resume studies as scheduled, many parents, especially those with children attending day schools, may hesitate to send them to potentially dangerous school areas prone to flooding.

She highlighted that the reopening this week was not well-considered, especially with the Labour Day celebrations scheduled for Wednesday, which could potentially inconvenience learners.

“We would rather delay the reopening date than risk losing our children as a result of the ongoing flooding all over the country. Again, why schools would reopen on Monday yet on Wednesday is a national holiday. The Ministry of Education should consider pushing the date to the other week,” Ng’ang’a said.

As per the Ministry of Education, learners are slated to resume their second-term studies from April 29 to August 2, spanning 14 weeks. Subsequently, they will go on holiday from August 5 to August 23, a period of three weeks.

Also Read – Why Schools Will Reopen Despite Inclement Weather

At the same time, the Kenya National Parents Association (KNAP) has urged the government to reconsider school opening dates in flood-affected areas.

With floods impacting homes and learning institutions, KNAP Secretary General Eskimos Kobia expressed concern over the safety of thousands of children.

Kobia urged the Government to assess the extent of schools affected by the rains and adjust the opening dates to ensure the safety of both students and teachers.

“We are keenly monitoring the ongoing rains and working with the Government for the safety of students as schools reopen for second term,” he said.

Addressing a gathering in Naivasha on Sunday, the KNAP Secretary General highlighted that in areas severely impacted by the rains, affected individuals had sought refuge in nearby schools. He observed that the heavy rains had caused significant road blockages, particularly in rural areas, posing additional risks to the safety of students.

“The issue is not only about reopening schools but how safe the students will be when travelling from home to the learning institutions,” he said.

Kobia disclosed that an initial assessment conducted by the association had found that many affected families had suffered losses of school uniforms and learning materials.

He explained that in affected schools, classrooms had collapsed, rendering the institutions uninhabitable. Additionally, he noted instances where learning materials had been washed away by the floods.

“The education sector has been adversely affected by the floods, and we welcome the move by the government to form a multi-agency team to assist those displaced,” the official said.

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