The reopening of schools for grade four and class eight learners revealed hope at the end of the tunnel for most learners, after staying home from March this year, following the unexpected closure of schools by the government, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Learners from Buckner Kenya schools were more than excited to resume classes, with most of them visiting the school before the actual opening to evaluate the situation at the school. Teachers were quick to ensure that all COVID-19 protocols set by the Ministry of Education are adhered to. More taps were installed and the number of learners occupying a class reduced by half, for them to observe social distancing.
However, the learners had already adjusted to the new normal since teachers at various Buckner Kenya schools were conducting classes virtually. This, however, was tough for most learners, especially those that come from vulnerable families, whose parents cannot afford mobile phones or did not have enough money to purchase internet bundles daily.
“Almost all of our students lack the capacity needed for online learning. They don’t have the devices, and if they did, most parents could not afford to stream classes or even lack electricity at home. Finding a balance between learning and safety has been a challenge,” said a teacher at Hope Buckner Community School in Bungoma
Learners also found it hard to consult their teachers, especially on the topics that they did not understand, or points that they missed out on during class time, due to unavoidable circumstances.
13-year-old Praxidis Wambaya, a class eight pupil at Hope Buckner Community School in Bungoma, is happy to have reported back to school after a long wait.
“When the schools closed, we were told to review what we had learned and study at home, but I found most topics difficult to understand without a teacher. I also didn’t have time to read as I have to help my parents on the farm all day. Now that we are back and preparing for the national exams, I hope we will get through. I am excited because we now have our teachers around and we can consult them any day, any time,” said Praxidis
All class eight learners have now placed their best foot forward as they await to seat for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education in March 2021.
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