Global News

Thousands of Children in Kenya Failed to Return to School This Week

Although an estimated 15 million children were expected back at school in Kenya this week, thousands failed to return.

Jan 9th 2021 · 1 min read
Pupils in a classroom on the first day of official school opening at Precious Talent Top School, Kenya's capital Nairobi on Jan. 4, 2021, as schools re-opened after a nine month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pupils in a classroom on the first day of official school opening at Precious Talent Top School, Kenya's capital Nairobi on Jan. 4, 2021, as schools re-opened after a nine month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated 15 million children were expected to return to school following a nine-month closure. Why Global Citizens Should CareCOVID-19 has affected the way children around the world experience education and, for many, attending school has not even been an option.

Although Kenya’s schools finally reopened, a number of children in the country have not been able to return; this has been caused by socioeconomic factors, such as a loss of household income, child pregnancy, or marriage. The United Nations’ Global Goal 4 calls for quality education for all and this can only be achieved if all children have equal access.

Join the movement and take action on this issue here. After being closed for nine months, schools in Kenya reopened this week to start a new term and resume the school year that was disrupted last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenya has experienced one of the longest school closures of the continent and is the last country in East Africa to fully reopen its schools. In 2020, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF raised concerns about prolonged school closures due to COVID-19, stating that they may increase the risks of teenage pregnancy, poor nutrition, and permanent school dropouts for children in poorer countries.

Although 15 million children were expected to return to school this week, Kenyan independent newspaper the Daily Nation reported that thousands of children failed to report back to school, with girls forming the larger part of these figures.  While it has not yet been determined why learners did not return to school, the Daily Nation reported that it could be due to girls becoming pregnant or getting married during the nine-month closure period.

last updated: 2021-01-09@08:01