Kenya: UNICEF praises Education Ministry's decision to re-open schoolsDevdiscourse News Desk | Nairobi | Updated: 07-10-2020 12:45 IST | Created: 07-10-2020 12:39 IST
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has praised the decision of Kenya's Ministry of Education to re-open schools from next week, according to a news report by Capital News.
Schools in Kenya have remained closed since March when the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country.
Maniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative to Kenya said that the longer children are out of school, the greater the risk that the poorest among them will never return as some might get into child labor or get married off.
With an estimated child drop out of school at the primary level of 21 percent, Zaman says prolonged exposure means more children may drop out of the system.
"The closure of schools exposes adolescent girls to a higher risk of sexual abuse, HIV and teenage pregnancy," the UNICEF Representative to Kenya said. The phased re-opening of school will see students in Grade 4, Class 8, and Form 4 resume learning.
UNICEF said the closure of schools in March this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interrupted learning for over 17 million students who missed more than six months of formal education.
"As children return to school, we all need to come together to ensure that this transition is smooth for the learners, teachers, and the wider school community. In addition to supporting water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools, we will work with partners to provide parents with the reliable and accurate information they need. Finally, we hope that soon all learners can be safely back in school."