Kenya’s Ministry of Education will distribute masks to needy students as schools in the East African country are set to resume this week.
Minister of Education, George Magoha, who disclosed the development said the government would begin sending funds to public schools starting on Thursday.
Schools in Kenya have remained closed since March when the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country.
Face coverings reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking.
They should mainly be worn to protect other people from coronavirus, rather than yourself.
When worn correctly, they should cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission.
They can help to reduce the spread of the virus from people who are contagious, including those who have no symptoms, or are yet to develop them.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has praised the decision of Kenya’s Ministry of Education to re-open schools from next week.
Maniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative to Kenya said that the longer children are out of school, the greater the risk that the poorest among them will never return as some might get into child labor or get married off.
With an estimated child drop out of school at the primary level of 21 percent, Zaman says prolonged exposure means more children may drop out of the system.
“The closure of schools exposes adolescent girls to a higher risk of sexual abuse, HIV and teenage pregnancy,” the UNICEF Representative to Kenya said. The phased re-opening of school will see students in Grade 4, Class 8, and Form 4 resume learning.
UNICEF said the closure of schools in March this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interrupted learning for over 17 million students who missed more than six months of formal education.