Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked hard to understand the changing landscape in Kenya and work with our staff and schools to devise a suitable strategy. Students all attended school during term one (the Kenyan academic year begins in January) but lost about a month of in-person education as Kenyan schools closed the week of March 16. Since that time, Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF) case managers have remained in contact with all families in our program and we have supported in-home and online education to the extent possible. We began regular food distribution in late March and are now feeding 300 families on a regular schedule. Our offices have been kept open on a limited basis and we continue to monitor the changing situation.
School Reopening Schedule Delayed
On July 7, we learned that primary and secondary schools in Kenya will not reopen in 2020. President Uhuru Kenyatta announced this change from the prior plan, which had been to phase students back to school beginning in September. Since the COVID-19 case count in Kenya continues to rise, the teacher’s unions objected and the authorities have realized that school in 2020 is unrealistic. President Kenyatta announced that the 2020 school year will be repeated in 2021, so if a student was in class 7 in 2020, s/he will repeat class 7 in 2021 and so forth for all grades.
Plans for post-secondary education are a bit less clear. The government has said these schools may commence in September if they meet safety guidelines. Since many post-secondary schools are privately owned we expect each school to commence at their own pace, perhaps beginning with online education and phasing into in-person instruction. Our plan is to manage this on a student-by-student basis and communicate with sponsors as we learn about each student’s situation.
We are planning to host a Zoom Question and Answer session on July 29 at 4 PM CDT. To register, please click here. The purpose of this session is to answer your questions about the situation in Kenya. One thing we are all learning during this pandemic is that we can make plans, but they may not come to fruition. We will be communicating with sponsors over the coming weeks about your sponsorship contributions.
Special Programs Re-starting
We plan to commence both Life Skills and Sexual and Reproductive Health education sessions in August, subject to approval by the local authorities. We will continue to distribute food aid and to support students’ efforts to learn online and stay engaged in their own education.
Thank you for your continued support. The pandemic is difficult for all of us. Students in Kenya are experiencing so many new and challenging barriers to their success. Thank you for sticking with them as we all work to get to the other side of COVID-19.
Founder and President
Friends of Ngong Road