The Voice of a Poor Kenyan Student and Parent

*Paul Brian*

Dear Sir

Greetings in the Mighty name of Our Gracious Lord.

15th March 2020, the president of the beloved great nation of Kenya His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta ordered for the closure of all learning institutions.

Students came home with hopes of resuming learning soon. In fact majority from colleges and universities carried few clothes, we thought it was a normal short holiday.

Today, more than five months later, there are news and actually high possibility of re-opening of learning institutions.

As a student I wish to complete my studies in time in fact soon but let’s think and ask ourselves questions: Is it safe to re-open learning institutions? Are we prepared in terms of health measures to re-open? And the most important can we afford re-opening?

When the learning took a break due to COVID-19 students were yet to do their exams. To be specific colleges and universities had their semesters halfway may be few weeks shy of exams. In my institution we conducted May – August semester online without doing January – April exams so we have two sets of exams. Doing two sets of exams is not an issue the issue is we’ll have to pay full school fees for the two semesters before doing the exams.

The COVID-19 pandemic has immensely affected our economy and no explanation is needed here, even the blind can see and the deaf can hear this.

Let’s take best case scenario:
In case the government under the ministry of education instructs all school heads not to force students/ parents to pay school fees and in turn not to deny students education in one way or other then let’s look at the following circumstances:

(i). Days schools – Some students needs fare to make it to school, some need money to buy lunch, they need to clean uniforms, they need pens and other learning materials. Where will the money come from if the families cannot afford food at home?

(ii) Boarding Schools – Students will need shopping for the essentials to keep them groomed in schools, they need fare to reach their institutions. Where will this money come from if families cannot pay rent?

(iii) Universities and colleges – These students suffer too much even in normal economy, they go nights and days without food, every end month there is war between them and landlords. Some of them pay school fees for themselves, they also engage in hustles here and there to feed their families back home, but where are the hustles now that even multi million companies have closed down? These students suffer to an extent of doing immoral things not because they wish but because they want to survive.

It’s clear that a poor student cannot afford education now.

Please The Government of Kenya I know you want us to resume learning but it’s not friendly to us poor students have mercy on us please. Listen to the voice of poor students. Let’s stabilize our economy first, classes are there we shall go and learn when it is fair for everyone, do not think of the rich alone we also want education.

Please help me make this message reach Ministry of Education and The President.


Paul Brian

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