Millions of mask-wearing pupils in Kenya have returned to school nine months after they were closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The learners’ temperatures were checked and they were required to use sanitiser before entering classrooms.
There was excitement in most schools as the pupils were reunited, the BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi reports from Nairobi.
Kenya reopens schools nine months after they were closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus https://t.co/DBuXrtqFZ2— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 4, 2021
The authorities say efforts have been made to ensure that pupils and teachers will be safe.
But Kenya’s National Union of Teachers’ Secretary General Wilson Sossion told the BBC’s Newsday programme that the return to school plan was “inadequate”.
He said the government had not released funds to schools to buy thermometers, sanitisers and other items required to implement the health protocols.
Education Minister George Magoha has especially been criticised for suggesting that schools should consider learning under trees as a way of avoiding overcrowding in classes.
Some said the minister was expressing a cavalier attitude towards public schools which, compared to private ones, often have fewer resources to cater for their huge pupil population.
Kenya has reported almost 97,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 1,600 deaths since the start of the outbreak in March last year.
Over the weekend President Uhuru Kenyatta extended a dusk-to-dawn curfew until March to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The BBC’s Focus on Africa programme has been speaking to a teacher and student about their experiences after their first day in school.