When the coronavirus pandemic struck, many thought that it was another outbreak that would pass within a short time with minimal disruptions.
However, as weeks passed, it became apparent that COVID-19 was not a pandemic to wish away, throwing thousands of ventures and livelihood into disarray and among those affected are proprietors of private schools.
With the harsh reality that schools will remain closed for the rest of 2020 and life becoming unbearable, Ndima Kanini Academy owner Lincoln Njogu took the unpopular route of converting classrooms into poultry houses.
Njogu told Capital FM that the thought of seeing his staff suffering inspired the thought to venture into poultry farming as an alternative to bring some income.
“We are currently reading chicken in our classrooms with teachers so that they can earn something for their upkeep so far we have sold three batches and they have something to eat,” he opined while at the school in the outskirts of Karatina town.
So far, so good, he added. The teachers too are happy that they have something they can earn from.
One of the teachers said he is happy to be involved in such a project citing that his peers in other private schools are up against hard times with no income.
Nyeri’s Private Schools Association Coordinator Kariuki Ndegwa said the pandemic calls for “out of the box” thinking by the government.
Ndegwa said a special fund should be rolled out for private schools to enable them to pay teachers who are on unpaid leave at the moment.
“We as an association want to urge our government to provide us with funds inform of grants or loans this will ensure that we are able to maintain our teachers whom we have put on unpaid leave otherwise many of the schools will close shop forever,” said Ndegwa.