Kenya: 80% of Students Missing Virtual Learning Amid School Closures - Study

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Nairobi — A new study now shows about eighty per cent of students are missing out on virtual classes set up following the closure of learning institutions as part of coronavirus containment efforts.

The survey conducted by Usawa Agenda, a lobby championing equitable access to quality education, indicated only 22 per cent of students interviewed in forty-two counties were accessing online learning resources with those enrolled in private schools being twice as likely to take part in digital learning compared to their counterparts in public schools.

"The findings show that on average 22 out 100 children are accessing online learning in Kenya. A child in a private school is twice as likely to be accessing digital learning compared to his/her counterpart in public school. Less than 10 per cent of learners in public schools are accessing digital learning materials," the report reads in part.

The research further showed that two out of ten parents were not aware that their children were expected to continue learning from home.

The survey conducted in April interviewed 3,700 household heads in 255 villages in the identified counties.

Some 263 school heads association officials in 211 sub-counties were also interviewed.

"Nine out of ten school heads officials interviewed estimated less than 30 per cent of their schools to have any measures in place to reach children with learning materials while six out of ten School Heads Association officials interviewed estimated less than 10 per cent of public schools have measures in place to reach children with learning materials," the report further read.

The government has already formed a nine-member COVID-19 response committee to advise the Ministry of Education on modalities of reopening schools.

The Committee which was unveiled last week on Tuesday by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha is chaired by Dr Sara Ruto, who is the Chairperson of the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development.

Other members are drawn from the education sector.

Prof Magoha said the committee is expected to advise him on reviewing and reorganizing the school calendar as part of the post COVID-19 recovery strategy.

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