MP Calls for School Reopening Extension Date Amid Heavy Rains

Alice Ng’ang’a, a Thika Member of Parliament, has urged the government to extend the school holiday by a week to safeguard students’ safety.

Speaking in Thika on Saturday, Ng’ang’a emphasized the significance of analyzing the situation before reopening schools, particularly because the Kenya Meteorological Department predicts further rain.

In light of the midweek school holiday on Wednesday, MP Ng’ang’a expressed concern for the children’s safety and suggested an extra week if the rains continue on Monday and Tuesday.

Ng’ang’a emphasized the importance of keeping students safe, rather than risking their exposure to floods by reopening schools early. She asked the Ministry of Education to postpone the school’s reopening date due to the current inclement weather conditions.

Death Toll

This comes as the death toll from flooding increased to 83, with 13 more bodies recovered in the last day.

Join Teachers Updates on Facebook

The recovery of four remains from the River Kwa Musii in Makueni brings the total number of deaths from the vehicle incident to nine.

Another body was discovered in Mathare, raising the death toll in Nairobi to 15, while three people, including a man, his wife, and their neighbor, drowned in Machakos after the swelling Tindanda River washed away their vehicle. 

Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, who spoke to the press on Saturday, said the floods had displaced 24,196 houses, totaling 131,450 people, and that the state has increased the search and rescue mission through a multiagency team. 

This comes as hundreds of families continue to be burdened by floodwaters.

This brings the overall number of casualties nationwide to 83, after the government stated that 70 people had perished as a result of the torrential rains as of Friday.

Student’s Safety

During the distribution of Ksh45 million in bursaries to about 10,000 secondary school students in her area, Ng’ang’a emphasized the dangers of reopening schools in the middle of heavy rains and flooding.

Ng’ang’a, accompanied by Kikuyu MP and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, urged the administration to postpone the reopening date by at least one week, citing insufficient planning for next week’s reopening.

She argued that prioritizing the safety of children was more important than forcing them to attend school and run the risk of drowning in floods. She also suggested that if the rainfall continued, we should allow children to remain at home until we could ensure their safety.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang maintained on Thursday that schools would resume next week, despite the torrential rains and floods that have impacted essential infrastructure across the nation. He confirmed that preparations for the reopening were underway.

As part of these preparations, the Ministry of Education’s Director General, Elyas Abdi, sent a circular to regional education directors, instructing them to analyze the impact of the rain and floods and report back by Friday.

Dr. Kipsang stated that the ministry is prepared and anticipates the return of children to school. He mentioned that, as a ministry, they would collaborate closely with other agencies to ensure children’s safety as they resumed their studies.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua declared on Friday that several primary and secondary schools in the country would postpone reopening for the second semester owing to flood damage.

At a press conference in Karen, Gachagua declared that the reopening dates for the affected schools would change.

He promised to evaluate each case on its own merits and to extend the opening day if necessary.

Gachagua stated that the Ministry of Education would work with county governments to examine the situation before informing parents and students about any adjustments. However, he underlined that schools not damaged by the floods will follow the Education Ministry’s 2024 academic calendar, with reopening anticipated for next week.

In Our Other News: KUPPET Wants TSC to Employ Intern Teachers on Permanent Terms

The PS indicated that the rains had a considerable impact on 64 schools in Nairobi.

He mentioned that in Nairobi County, 64 schools have been significantly affected in terms of classes and dormitories. To avoid instructing all schools not to open, we decided to address them as local issues.

Kipsang added that the 64 impacted schools, out of Nairobi’s 210 public and 800 private schools, may have to wait until normalcy returns before reopening.

The news comes amid concerns about the recent rains’ impact on infrastructure and transportation networks, casting doubt on the possibility of restarting school activities.

MP Calls for School Reopening Extension Date Amid Heavy Rains

Leave A Reply