Today (April 7th, 2020) is UN World Health Day. Now, more than ever, it is important for all of us to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable members of our communities by paying close attention to our health. Check out the measures the citizens of Kenya have taken to combat the spread of coronavirus in their country:
Since the first case was reported in late December 2019, the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 [COVID-19] has become a great threat to the whole world and has affected every aspect of life worldwide. It has led to the economies being impacted, school closures, lockdowns and curfews, banning of social gatherings, not to mention the human impact. Panicked shoppers have cleared shelves of sanitizers and basic food items. The streets of cities around the world, once full of life and energy, have been left deserted and empty as citizens seek shelter indoors and away from each other. This is truly an unprecedented situation, and one that will surely have far-reaching effects worldwide.
In Kenya, a total of 122 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed so far. Steps taken to date in Kenya include a curfew between 7 pm and 5 am, a travel ban across county lines, only essential businesses to remain open and school closures across the board. They’re staying hopeful that these steps will help contain the spread of the virus in its very early stages.
Kenya’s education sector has been hit hard. Since a large portion of Kenyan high schools are boarding schools, it was critical that they close down and send students back home. Teachers have also had to leave their daily work and stay home to avoid spreading the virus. With everyone gone from the schools, there is a real concern that all students will have to repeat the year’s classes.
The government has responded to these concerns by using the public broadcasting system to their advantage. Several teachers specializing in a variety of subjects across educational levels have been employed by the government to give a recorded lecture in front of a camera; the lecture is then broadcasted on various TV and radio stations such as EDU TV and KICD. Students simply tune in to the station during their scheduled class times and are able to take notes and receive assignments and extra practice in their subjects.
In addition to these ongoing remote lessons, schools in Kenya also took several measures to help their students stay on top of their studies before shutting down. Before the students left their schools, they were given a large volume of assignments in each of their subjects to work on at home. With these assignments, study guides and revision books that each Moja Tu student was given earlier this year, they can continue to review their class material and test their knowledge while under quarantine. This will be of much help to students while at home.
This year’s form 4 students face a unique challenge. As they prepare to graduate from high school and take the Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams later this year, schools have had to think of innovative new ways to keep these students on track to graduate on time. To help ensure these students finish their high school in a timely manner, many schools have introduced online studying for their form 4 students’ benefit. In the online classes, a question is posted on a discussion board. The students in the class then discuss the question and their proposed answers thoroughly. They then post their solution and discussion for the teacher to mark. Using these models of study, the students will hopefully be able to stay on top of their studies.
We’ll continue to monitor and keep you abreast of our students progress during the next few weeks and months. We’re hopeful that with the measures taken will help minimize the impact that this virus will take on the country as a whole.