Kenya’s Education Ministry’s decision to postpone the reopening of basic education to January 2021, or when the COVID-19 infection curve in the country has flattened, has been met with mixed reactions.

While some feel it is better to be safe than sorry, others have expressed concern that the decision will affect the morale of learners and teachers.

Dead year, lost year; these are just some of the newspaper headlines being used to describe Kenya’s Education Ministry’s decision to postpone the reopening of basic education.

Parents and learners alike were on Wednesday trying to understand the implications of the decision that Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced.

“If you look at it from a perspective, you see I have more time to prepare for the exam, but you had that excitement to finish school and join university,” one student said.

“I am really pained because I was preparing to complete primary school and start a new life,” another student said.

Kenya has over 8 000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Medical experts say the pandemic might reach its peak in August, a month before schools were due to reopen, hence the decision to shelve the reopening as explained by Magoha.

In the video below, the SABC looks at the impact f COVID-19 on Kenya:

Nairobi-based education expert, Amos Kaburu, says there is general consensus among stakeholders that schools should not reopen now.

While some schools have been conducting online learning, others have never attended class since schools closed in March. This is the situation, not just in Kenya, but in several African countries.

For now, it’s back to the drawing board for East Africa’s biggest economy.