NAIROBI, Kenya

Schools in Kenya have reopened for their first term during the middle of the year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally a school year in Kenya begins in January but coronavirus restrictions caused the new year to begin in July.

Parents are lamenting that they are being forced to cough up money to purchase uniforms, books and pay school fees in the middle of the year despite being hit hard by tough economic times because of mitigation measures.

Kimberly Akinyi has had to dig deeper into her pockets to cater to the needs of her children as they head back to school.

“It is very challenging financially considering there has been the pandemic so most of us have lost our jobs,” said Akinyi. “So, that means we have to find ways to get that extra cash to take the kids back to school. The holiday was very brief, I think two weeks, so we have to come back again, get shopping for the kids.”

And the list of things needed by students is long. “My kids need to go to school so we are canceling some things that they don’t need, especially snacks. I got fired from my job due to COVID-19 and times are tough but we can’t forget our role as parents,” said Risper Anne Kilatya.

Uniform shop owner Raychelle Muthoni said her business is booming despite having to be closed for months due to the virus hitting her main target which is the education industry.

“Business is good at the moment, we have been experiencing very high sales. We appreciate. We closed for like five months. No job, no nothing, no orders, it was really tough for me I had to relocate somewhere else for a few months,” she said.

On Tuesday, 976 people tested positive for the virus in Kenya from a sample size of 6,896 tested in the last 24 hours.

The positivity rate stands at 14.2% with total confirmed cases at 198,935 and cumulative tests conducted is 2,103,997.

A total of 1,682,899 vaccines have been administered, including to 90,962 teachers which is a quarter of the number of teachers in Kenya at 496,801, according to the Education Ministry.

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