The announcement by President Yoweri Museveni that schools will reopen on October 15th is highly welcomed but the declaration leaves several questions unanswered. For more than six months in lock down, more confusion on the way forward remains a big issue for parents,learners, school owners and teachers.
Given the fact that pupils and students must progress in their academic careers despite the current prevailing situation, what is the government providing in terms of package for the schools owners to help them reopen the institutions?
This proposed phase of reopening is however accompanied by a litary of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Among them is that there should be not more than 70 learners in a class room of any size for a lesson. Institutions with large numbers of candidates and final year classes have been advised to operate in morning and afternoon shifts and schools to ensure restrictions are in place to prevent teachers from part timing in multiple institutions. Obviously the raft of SOPs will require more money and resources to put in place all those minimums for the smooth operations of schools.
“Schools have been closed for many months , hence have no funds, some are grappling with unpaid loans and salary arrears for private teachers, the teaching staff is incomplete with less man power to avail services to the learners, inadequate facilities and buildings as witnessed in my home district Sembabule, learners trek distances to get schools on empty stomachs, bare footed, inadequate scholastic materials, in my own constituency of Lwemiyaga we’ve only Two government Aided Secondary schools with immense numbers of students (Lwemiyaga sec, St Anne’sNtusi).
“Parents have lost jobs, businesses,and earnings have been shut during this lockdown. This means Many parents will be hard pressed to pay up fees to facility proper administration of their children” As parents are still confused with the school dues, they’re are worried of their children of contracting Covid19 given by the unbearable amount of testing and treating Covid19 which is unaffordable country wide. Parents need to be assured on how the government intends to protect their children because this is the next generation.
As the government promised radios and TV sets to our brothers and sisters in Candidate classes, the communities have never received any of the promises,
Therefore, I call upon the Ugandan government to revise the Capitation grants to cater for these unforeseen eventualities, just like they would have handled effects of landslides and floods through emergency funding. Engage private schools and include them on this matter as they also teach national citizens of Uganda.
I am Emmanuel Mukwaya a concerned citizen born in Lwemiyaga county Sembabule district
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