Kenya like all the countries across the globe continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis. Following the announcement to close schools on the 15th of March 2020 as part of the measures to control its spread, about 10 million children were rendered out of school hence threatening the right to quality basic education as provided for by the Constitution of Kenya 2010 under article 53(b) and actualized through the Basic Education Act 2013.
On 12th May 2020, the Government inaugurated the Education COVID-19 response committee led by Dr. Sarah Ruto and part of the committee’s milestones was the development of the development of the Kenya Basic Education COVID -19 Emergency Response Plan.
The COVID-19 crisis has led to rolling back gains made in the basic education sub-sector and has interrupted the school calendar endangering the quality roll-out of reforms such as those relating to the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC)
There is growing evidence to suggest that there has been massive dropouts following the closure of schools and especially for the girls.
Currently, the western part of Kenya which has been affected by a spike of COVID-19 cases which has led the Government to impose partial lockdown in counties in this region .These counties are Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma, Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa bay and Migori. Movement between the rest of the country and these hotspots has been discouraged except for essential and emergency services.
These stiff measures have been put in place in the wake of a spike in COVID-19 infections as a daily positivity rate in these counties rose to about 21 percent against a national average of 9 percent. Though schools are operational, the need to closely monitor the situation cannot be overstated. Additionally, within the sector there is need to monitor the performance of both the operations of the COVID-19 committee and the performance of the Kenya Education Emergency Response plan. This is something the coalition will join other stakeholders to do.