The international body indicated that negative effects of the extended education disruption were significant as poor nutrition, stress, increased exposure to violence and exploitation, childhood pregnancies had been witnessed across the continent.
According to a survey by WHO and UNICEF, only six countries of the 39 in sub-Saharan Africa, were fully open.
WHO regional director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti stated that schools paved way for success for many Africans as well as provided a safe haven for children in challenging situations.
â€œWe must not be blind-sided by our efforts to contain Covid-19 and end up with a lost generation. Just as countries are opening businesses safely, we can reopen schools.
Weigheing in on the matter, UNICEF regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mohamed M. Malick Fall, indicated that the long-term impact of extending the school shutdown caused harm to the children’s future.
â€œWhen we balance the harm being done to children locked out of schools, and if we follow the evidence, it leads children back into the classroom,” Malick stated.
Back home, parents, in a demand letter by lawyer Harrison Kinyajui, gave Education CS George Magoha an ultimatum to reopen schools.
They accused him of discriminating against children on the basis of their age, yet adults were conducting business as usual.
However, while responding to them, the Education CS stated that only President Uhuru Kenyatta had the powers to dictate when schools would reopen.
“More than 100,000 schools remain closed across the country, but the decision to reopen them lies with President Uhuru, he is the one to decide whether he can take the risk,â€ he stated.
â€œOthers who have rushed have had to walk backwards, look at South Africa and America, kids have died, over 100,000 kids got infected in the US when they reopened, we do not want that,” he added.