Thousands of students yesterday flocked public schools to seek admission following the closure of hundreds of private institutions at the height of coronavirus pandemic.
Parents attributed the move to the closure of private schools while others said the harsh economic times had pushed them to opt for the usually cheaper public schools.
Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha came face-to-face with the situation at the Olympic Primary School in Kibra, Nairobi county, which recorded an influx of new learners seeking admission.
As he assessed the re-opening exercise, Magoha was forced to order for additional desks for the school, one of the largest in the country with over 4,700 learners.
“Even though we had already delivered the economic stimulus desks, I have decided we will give another 140 to this school.
We will pick some desks which are ready but were meant for other schools that may not be having a very tight problem as this,” he said.
“Seventy of them will be here today (yesterday) and during the course of the week the balance of 70 will be fabricated and brought.
Then we will fabricate and take to the other school so that I am fair to those children to ensure their pressure is not as much as the one here,” added the CS who also supervised delivery of the 70 desks.
As parents rushed to seek slots at public primary schools, the CS said Olympic will not be available any further because of the high population it already has.
“You can see for yourself that they are already over 4,700 learners so this one even though it is popular is not likely to take more children. There are many other schools around that children should go to.
We are trying to avoid a situation where a popular school like this one is overrun by children ” the CS explained.
Magoha, however, lauded the preparations put in place, saying that the reopening was well coordinated with all the children wearing face masks.
“You went into the classrooms in Olympic, apart from overcrowding everything else is normal.
We may not be perfect but children are properly masked and most of those masks were provided by Government and its partners,” said the CS.
He however warned other public schools with space for additional learners against denying children a chance.