Thursday 26th March 2020 will go down history as the day on which the dreaded COVID-19 claimed its first casualty in Kenya.
This came in the form of a 66-year-old Kenyan man according to a statement by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday evening. The man died at the Aga Khan Intensive Care Unit in the afternoon. “The man who was suffering from diabetes had arrived in the country on March 13 from South Africa via Swaziland,” he said.
Here at The Campus Lady Magazine, we continue to document the effects of this virus on students from different institutions around Kenya. Yesterday, we spoke to Purity, an Agribusiness Management Student at Egerton university who shared just how the virus has had an effect on her.
Today, we caught up with Samuel Akute, a Bsc Mechanical Engineering student from the Technical University of Kenya. Samuel shares insights on how the COVID19 pandemic has affected learning at their institution.
Samuel believes that the university was not well prepared to ensure the safety of the students and that is why the students had to be sent home. However, he notes that there are still specific areas of the university that are still operational even though the school has been closed indefinitely.
He said: “The university is partially operational, some of the core staff are reporting, students on their final year projects and those seeking attachment are the only ones allowed in school.
“The school set aside sanitizer at specific places and hand washing detergent at some newly created sinks in the compound”
However, he believes that these would not have been enough to keep COVID-19 out of the institution that is located within the city center.
Impact of COVID-19 on Learning
Like the situation at Egerton University, learning at the Technical University of Kenya has been halted indefinitely. Sam, like many other students, is particularly concerned with the fate of the graduation for the students who were expected to graduate in May this year.
He notes: “Keeping in mind it was a period some [students] were expecting to graduate [in] May , some expected to start their exams next months, some were on their final exam.
According to Samuel, all the preparation that the students had made ahead of their examinations will go to waste and they may need to start everything afresh.
This is a situation that many institutions of higher learning in Kenya will have to grapple with once normalcy returns considering the extend the closure of these institutions will have affected their academic calendar.
Since most of the institutions do not have operational digital learning technologies and support, it is highly likely that they will need to restart the semesters.
How Students Can Keep Safe
Students, like every other citizen in Kenya has a responsibility of ensuring their own safety and that of their family, neighbors and friends. Samuel believes that the only way to achieve this level of safety is by being obedient at all times.
He said: “Students can stay safe by observing set procedures by MOH.
“For instance, the use of hand sanitizers, masks, quarantine [in case of covid19 symptoms] and avoiding public places will go a long way in keeping everyone safe.”
We will continue highlighting the effects of COVID-19 on learning and on students. Would you like to be featured? Drop us a line and we will get back to you ASAP.