The government has moved to bail out private schools that have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Education CS George Magoha on Monday announced the government will provide Sh7 billion in concessional loans to privately-owned schools to keep them afloat in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.
The loan is expected to mainly support infrastructural development in preparation for the reopening of schools in January 2021.
“We understand the situation that they are in and that’s why the government has provided a Ksh7 billion shillings in concessional loan for private schools,” Magoha said.
The available funds will help schools to construct extra classrooms to ensure social distancing during learning as well as acquire hand-washing equipment to maintain high levels of hygiene.
Schools will borrow the funds at a discounted interest rate of between 2.5 and 3.5 percent.
Private schools have struggled to meet their financial obligations following the closure of all institutions in March to contain the spread of Covid-19. It is estimated that private schools directly employ at least 300,000 people.
The Kenya Private Schools Association says schools are shutting down permanently citing lack of finances to keep them running.
“We have reports from about 109 schools across the country that will not be coming back to business. They have folded up to try something else because having no income for those many months is extremely difficult,” the association’s chairman Peter Ndoro said last month.
As a result, 39,000 learners will be forced to find new schools while 1,400 teachers and 1,100 support staff have lost their jobs.