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Crisis, Education and Settlements; A Look at Kenya

Updated: May 23

Brenda Apiyo,

Associate, Quality Education Program


Since its emergence in late 2019,  the coronavirus disease 2019( covid-19) has evolved into a pandemic,  heavily affecting the lives of billions of people across the world with anticipated huge impact on the global economy thus affecting the national budgets of many countries particularly in Africa.


Education is one of the sectors that have been heavily affected leading to closure of learning institutions in many African countries. This is likely to negatively affect education in terms of access, quality and investments.


The Kenyan education has been seriously affected by the crisis. Measures such as social distancing have been adopted to reduce interpersonal contact of face to face learning, and thereby minimize the community transmissions that could develop quickly in dense social networks like the learning institutions.


Drawing on Copenhagen School Securitization Theory and analyzing 25 declarations on emergency;, e-learning at the Universities, colleges, secondary schools and primary schools is important.


Securitization theory is a vital tool for educators not only for observing and understanding the phenomenon of emergency of e-learning, but also for advocating for securitization of schooling even after the Covid-19 crisis.


Following the logic of the exception that ‘’extra ordinary times call for extra ordinary measures” such as e-learning have been adopted.

But many schools in parts of Africa are missing because the resources are not available.In Kenya thousands of students in urban informal settlements and rural areas are struggling for they don’t have electricity, smart phones and computers.


Rural and Informal Settlements


Rural and Informal sectors in Kenya are the most hard hit areas due to the crisis. Kenyan urban schools, 51.6% of enrolled students are male & 48% are female, greatest gender disparity exist among the poorest quintile groups in rural areas’ rates being 33.1% males& 25% females respectively due to lack of good resources and facilities.Online classes are very important and key, but reality of the situation is that we cannot assume everyone has access and opportunity to engage in this online classes like in Image 1.The child has no access to e-learning or even electricity this will make him lag behind. Then how do we help the ones who can’t afford the necessary devices or even electricity to help them continue study in the comfort of their home?


If we are to have any hope for an emancipatory post pandemic pedagogy, we require an open discussion of securitization on face to face learning for the future.


Mrs. Brenda Apiyo, is a graduate from The University of Nairobi in Environmental Study and Tourism. She has experience in supporting programmatic, and strategic planning in business development. She has carried out research on water and sanitation with UN and I.F.R.A. in Kenya. She has extensive experience in organization and research and problem solving. She says "Conservation and Sustainability are my passion." She is also a Climate Change Activist











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