Gatundu parents, leaders welcome President Ruto’s directive on schools reopening

Gatundu South MP GG Kagombe during the issuance of bursaries. Photo: Kamau Njoroge

Parents in Gatundu, Kiambu County have welcomed reopening of schools for the second term by President William Ruto following two postponements over floods that have ravaged the country since March this year.

The parents who spoke hours after President Ruto announced the decision while relying on the advice from the Kenya Meteorological Department which has predicted favourable conditions from next week said they will comply with the directive to enable their children continue with their studies.

The learners are among the form-four class who coincidentally had their studies disrupted when they were in class eight after Covid-19 struck the country, paralysing virtually all activities.

They said that their children have lost studying time while at home and the time to recover the lost period is due and urged the government to support reconstruction of destroyed schools by the floods.

Gatundu South parents during the issuance of bursary cheque in Gatundu. Photo: Kamau Njoroge

“While they have been safe in our hands, our children have lost enough time as they should be in school studying. We welcome the government’s decision to reopen schools to give them time to continue studying. We however, want the government to keep its words on reconstruction of damaged schools so that our children are not exposed to danger,” said Elizabeth Njoki.


Recent postponement of re-opening of schools has exposed inequalities in our education system

Speaking at Gatundu Stadium after receiving KSh58 million worth of bursary cheques from the area NG-CDF, a process spearheaded by MP Gabriel Kagombe, the parents said they will, until the rains subside, be accompanying their children to especially help them cross swollen rivers to mitigate accidents.

They however revealed that schools within the constituency were not harshly affected by the flash floods as the area enjoys a hilly landscape that allows water to freely move to the existing rivers.

On his part, Kagombe welcomed the President’s decision saying resumption of studies for learners will enable them to recover the lost studying time and continue learning uninterrupted.

Kagombe however stated that while the Head of State had ordered the Ministry of Education to help rebuild destroyed schools, both the national and county governments should pool resources to help restructure the damaged facilities for a conducive learning environment.

He called on leaders to depoliticize the reopening or rebuilding of schools and instead embrace a unity of purpose to eliminate the possibility of putting the lives of learners and teachers at risk.

“The president has made the announcement at a time when we have finalized issuing KSh58 million worth of cheques to our learners meaning they will go back to school without fees hitches. We however want leaders to depoliticize the funding of schools’ reconstruction. All governors because they have the most emergency funds should join hands with other leaders to ensure studying of learners happens uninterrupted,” said the MP.

The schools were initially set for reopening on April 29 will now be reopened on May 13, 2024, a two-week lost period that the MP stated should be recovered so as not to interfere with the school calendar.

While making the announcement, the president said the government will avail funds for damaged schools’ infrastructure through CDF.

Since March, flash floods have claimed over 200 lives and displaced more than 200,000 people across 42,000 households, especially in Nairobi.

The Mai Mahiu floods tragedy alone has since accounted for over 50 fatalities, making the area bordering Kiambu and Nakuru counties one of the worst-hit areas.

By Kamau Njoroge

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