The Ministry of Education and Sports, together with the Ministry of Health have warned schools against forceful testing of students for Covid-19 when the learners return to school starting Monday January 10th, 2022.
In his New Year address to the nation on 31st December 2021, President Museveni said all schools will open on January 10 and he tasked the responsible Ministries to come up with measures for safe reopening.
Ministry of Heath has received information that some schools are directing students to do Covid-19 tests before reporting to schools; and that other schools have actually pre-positioned private laboratories to test students on arrival at the cost of students.
“Ministry of health would like to advise that testing of pupils/students on admission or before arrival is not the official position of the Covid-19 National Task Force. The National Covid-19 guidelines for safe reopening of schools that were jointly developed by MOES and MOH provide specific guidance on how learners will safely return to schools,” part of the statement from the ministry reads.
“Testing learners on arrival was not one of the recommendations.”
The major recommendations in the guidelines were based on three pillars; Putting in place a system for strict compliance to Covid19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in every school.
Secondly, establishing a system for monitoring and isolating symptomatic cases in every school and reporting to the nearest health facility. Following this, if possible found necessary to test all learners in school because of soaring numbers, MoH undertakes to do so; not the private laboratories.
Lastly, in all schools, the staff and parents shall work closely with the communities and nearby health facilities to address Covid-19 issues in the school.