On March 18, 2020, President Museveni ordered for closure of schools and other teaching institutions in the country. The closure peddled at curbing the spread of the deadly #Covid-19 pandemic.
Since then, school going children have been home watching televisions on top of doing some domestic chores. In April, the Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni had announced that children would resume their studies towards the end of April. However due to surging numbers of #Covid-19 this could not happen.
The government had also proposed giving radio sets to almost every home for children to listen in as teachers go on with classes. Just wondering how pupils could learn mathematics, chemistry and other complicated subjects which involve calculations. To me this was a waste of taxpayers’ money to some schemers.
Neighboring country Kenya declared a dead year and therefore schools will resume next year. This will help gov’t and stakeholders in the education sector to lay down strategies of how schools will resume amidst the long term visitor, #Covid-19.
As the country continues to register huge numbers of #Covid-19, proprietors of various schools of whom are government officials push for re-opening to earn money other than prioritizing the health of our children.
Last week, it came to my notice that the Ministry of Education petitioned their counterpart in finance to avail them funds to cater for re-opening of schools for candidate classes.
It is reported that Education institutions shall reopen starting September 21, 2020 for candidate classes (P7, S4 and S6) and final year students in higher institutions of learning. Institutions shall follow a revised national education institutions calendar as shall be provided.
We have been patient for the last six months, why can’t we wait for two months and open in January or early February 2021. Our children/ students had not registered for the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examinations and had attended classes for one and half month not even a term so why are we opening schools for them.
The re-opening for candidate classes, implies that the rest will repeat their respective classes. Here is a controversy, In case candidates pass to the next classes say senior one or senior five, where will the current occupants of the said classes go unless when the government or Ministry of education has a plan of changing the education calendar.
If not, there should be some schemers looking for a fatty budget in the name of re-opening of schools and implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs).
To date, the government has failed to implement #Covid-19 SOPs in downtown, taxi parks, how best we shall succeed when we reopen schools. Every day the country records over 100 cases of #Covid-19 will our children be safe? To me, reopening of schools before the launch of #Covid-19 vaccine, Museveni will have lost the battle.
The writer is patriotic Ugandan and a parent.