COVID-19 UPDATE AUGUST 2020

Aug 27, 2020
 

+++Update 19.10.2020+++

Kenyan schoolchildren in grades four, eight and 12 returned to class on Monday 12th October, ending a months-long closure of all eductional institutions in the country designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The three levels going back to school are all preparing for standardized exams that were postpned from November to March.

After turning our lives upside down and locking us down for months, COVID-19 continues to keep the world in suspense. In Kenya, the government announced recently that all schools will be closed until January 2021 and all students will be required to repeat the full school year. In the Philippines on the other hand, classes should pick up again on 24 August via distance learning. 

An update on how and when the rest of the classes will reopen will be announced later on.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION 
COVID-19 and its effect on our scholarship holders (AiduFellows)

After turning our lives upside down and locking us down for months, COVID-19 continues to keep the world in suspense. In Kenya, the government announced recently that all schools will be closed until January 2021 and all students will be required to repeat the full school year. In the Philippines on the other hand, classes should pick up again on 24 August via distance learning.

The coronavirus has provided us with a new reality. Here in Switzerland, things have calmed quite a bit: kids have started back at schools, restaurants are welcoming guests again, and people are going back to their offices outside of homes. The virus continues to keep the world in suspense though, and an end date is not in sight.

The rampant spread of this virus has brought about unprecedented challenges for us at Aiducation. We too are learning to deal with this new situation and are doing our best to keep spirits up. More important however is ensuring that the high levels of drive and motivation among our AiduFellows remain high, and we are in regular exchange with them for this. 

Over 1 billion girls and boys worldwide are currently unable to attend school because of restrictions or curfews. In many countries, children are at risk of missing out on education because of closed schools. Our talents in Kenya and the Philippines have also been affected by school closures and are currently at home with their parents.

Below you will find a detailed report from the country managers of Kenya and the Philippines, also noting how the situation affects your AiduFellow. In case of questions please feel free to contact Matthias (matthias.meier@aiducation.org) or Andrea (andrea.specht@aiducation.org)

Our goal is to move beyond these difficult times and see our talents succeed, and we highly appreciate your support in this effort.

With best regards,

Your Aiducation-Team

Aiducation International Schweiz
8000 Zürich
Schweiz

 

Kenya

Current situation (written by George Jilani, CEO of Aiducation Kenya)

Kenya’s academic year which runs from January to November has been affected adversely by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The Kenya Government suspended all learning in schools from March 2020 - after the first coronavirus case was announced in Kenya - thereby sending all students including final year KCSE candidates back home to be with their families until the situation is under control. In July 2020, with increasing number of coronavirus cases, the Kenya Government announced additionally that all schools will remain closed in Kenya until January 2021 and that all students including KCSE final year candidates would have to repeat the whole school year next year. This decision has affected the 761 current AiduFellows in Kenya of whom 158 are KCSE candidates who were scheduled to sit for KCSE final exams in November 2020.

Our AiduFellows are academically gifted youths from humble backgrounds. Most of these bright young talents live with their extended families in rural Kenya without access to internet, electricity, or smart devices like mobile phones and laptops. In such regions, the internet can often be accessed in cyber cafés, where you pay a small fee to use the computer and access printing and scanning services.

 

How is your AiduFellow affected?

Although the first trimester in 2020 has been completed, all students in Kenya will have to repeat the whole year. Normally, your AiduFellow lives in a school and has access to education every day along with three meals a day. While the inability to go to school is a huge burden, the loss of proper nourishment is also an issue.

Aiducation International Kenya currently in the process of contacting all families to find out how we can support our AiduFellow best in this difficult situation. We are also in touch with our partner-schools to see what additional costs will be incurred. As soon as we have more information concerning the financial consequences, we will contact you again.

 

Hear for yourself what our local AiduFellow has to say

 

Raymond, Kenya: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLrgKs4xFv4

 

Links for additional information

 

https://www.nation.co.ke/kenya/news/education/cs-magoha-cancels-kcpe-kcse-exams-as-covid-19-bites-1446342

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/education/article/2001377906/no-kcpe-no-kcse-thisyear#:~:text=There%20will%20be%20no%20national,
basic%20education%20and%20tertiary%20institutions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6fJPhD0dBw

https://www.voanews.com/episode/teen-pregnancies-spike-kenya-schools-remain-shuttered-4344051

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZUudnkjbZY

https://www.president.go.ke/2020/07/27/the-tenth-10th-presidential-address-on-the-covid-19-pandemic-on-monday-27th-july-2020-at-state-house-nairobi/

 

Philippines

Current situation (written by Solvie Nubla-Lee, CEO of our Partner Pathways in the Philippines)

The Philippines remains in quarantine since it recorded its first local transmission of COVID-19 in March of this year. Manila and its surrounding cities and provinces are on its fifth month of restrictions come August. With it, it has been dubbed the longest COVID-19 lockdown in the world.

Schools were closed in March and the Academic Year 2019-2020 (normally August until June) was cut short, in many cases. Those in basic education had their year cut short by a few weeks, while those in higher education had it cut by roughly two months.

Despite the cases of COVID-19 growing nationally, the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) aims to begin classes on the 24th of August. DepEd has elected that students shall be taught through remote learning– either through online or radio classes or through completion of modules. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) also decided to begin classes in August with the implementation of online classes. However, the challenges to continuing education at these times are steep.

 

How is your AiduFellow affected?

Although the school year 2019/2020 has been shorten for our students the year will be counted in full. We will get reports for this special school year and our finishers will be able to join university. You will be informed about your AiduFellow as soon as we get the reports and updates from our partner in the Philippines.

 

Hear for yourself what our local AiduFellow has to say

 

Dayanne, Philippines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amXHaAQIV5A

 

Links for additional information

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/09/global-report-philippines-says-schools-wont-reopen-until-there-is-a-covid-19-vaccine

https://www.deped.gov.ph/2020/05/11/iatf-approves-the-be-lcp-school-opening-on-august-24-2020/

https://ched.gov.ph/blog/2020/07/10/universities-colleges-gear-up-for-opening-of-classes-in-august/

https://theaseanpost.com/article/blended-learning-virus-hit-philippines

 

 

 


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