Effect of Covid-19 Pandemic on the Education System in Kenya
Education is an integral part of human society, its importance in life cannot be ignored as lack of education gives birth to numerous social problems like poor health, internal conflict, poor living standards and many more, education helps people to find a better solution to their problems. Education lets people realize the true value of contribution and help become the backbone of the society. Innovation and creativity can only occur when people are skilled enough to know how to operate with different technologies. Since the first case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was announced in Kenya, many aspects of society and the education sector have been dramatically affected. On March 15th 2020, the Kenyan government closed all learning institutions countrywide to contain the spread of the virus. As the numbers of those infected by coronavirus rose to over 8,000, the ministry of education announced on July 7th that, the 2020 school calendar year will be considered lost due to COVID-19 restrictions. The purpose of this study was therefore to determine the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the education systems in Kenya. The study was anchored on Classical Liberal Theory of Equal Opportunities. Mixed method design which involved a combination of both quantitative and qualitative approaches was adopted. In?quantitative the study used a survey research design, specifically the study adopted a cross-sectional survey research design. Cross-sectional survey design involves collecting data from a large group of people of different stages of growth at one point in time. The target population for this study included teachers, students and parents. The sample size for the study comprised of 100 teachers, 25 parents and 100 students who were purposively selected across the country. This study used both questionnaire and interview guide to collect primary data. The questionnaires were served to teachers and students online using Google forms while interview guide was administered to the parents using online Google forms as well. The quantitative data collected was analyzed using SPSS. Quantitative analysis involved the use of descriptive analysis, while qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis. The results were presented on tables. The findings revealed that Covid-19 had seriously affected learning among students in Kenya. The study found that the effects of Covid-19 were so severe that some teachers and parents lost their jobs or source of livelihoods. Most of the students were not able to access online learning due to lack of electricity, lack of learning materials and some were forced to relocate to the country side. The study hence concluded that as a result of the challenges presented by the coronavirus and the likely impact of future pandemics the government’s ability to ensure continuation of learning will depend on the ability to swiftly harness available technology, provide adequate infrastructure and mobilize stakeholders to prepare alternative learning programmes. The study concludes that as a result of the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic, teaching and learning activities in all learning institutions in Kenya just like other parts of the world have severely been disrupted. The worst hit learners are the primary and secondary school candidates who should sit for their national examinations at the end of 2020. Based on the conclusion the study recommended that there is need for the government through the ministry of education together with all the stakeholders in education sector in Kenya to navigate through challenges presented by Covid-19 to ensure continued access to provision of quality, equitable and inclusive education during and after the pandemic. Effective implementation of the proposed interventions by education managers and stakeholders will ensure uninterrupted learning in educational institutions in future. This study in addition recommends that it is important to ensure that the Ministry of Education, parents and teachers support vulnerable students to ensure they are not exploited and that no learning loss occurs even as schools delay re-full opening until January 2021 despite grades 4, class 8 and form 4s being back in schools already.
Keywords: Covid-19, Pandemic, Education system, Students, teachers, Parents, Kenya.
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