- Schools shall remain closed, says Dr Muyingo.
- Government in consultations on the way forward.
- Covid-19 safety measures consideration may aid in reopening.
- All teachers to be vaccinated in readiness to resume teaching.
The Minister for Higher education Dr John C. Muyingo has dismissed claims that schools are reopening in September.
According to media reports, schools were due to reopen in the first two weeks of September, at the time of report release. The schools were to be reopened starting with Primary one to three and senior one to three. Other classes would follow.
But things are not as reported. Dr John C Muyingo, the Minister for higher education has dismissed these claims.
Speaking during the release of the Uganda Business and Technical Examination Results release, Dr Muyingo dismissed the claims saying that the scenario was unlikely owing to Covid-19 restrictions.
Earlier in the week, a word from local media had it that the MoES had allowed schools to reopen in the first two weeks of September. The reopening would begin with primary 1 to primary 3, and senior one to three the sources said. He cited the authorization by the cabinet for the reopening of schools.
“First of all, it is not true that the government or my ministry had come up with dates for school reopening. This is not true.”
Dr Muyingo vehemently denied the claims adding that the government had neither decided on reopening, nor laid a criteria of how the reopening is supposed to happen. He further said that consultations were underway and at the right time reopening dates shall be communicated through the cabinet.
This is happening as Uganda swims into school closure for the second year straight since Covid-19 struck in 2020. The government, teachers, and parents are worried about the learners being out of school for long. It can affect them negatively due to over socialization. Teachers and parents can collaborate to utilize any available online content through smartphones as government chats a way forward. It is understandable that some parents may lack access to smartphones and the internet. But it is also important to do everything that can ensure learners safety and continued learning.
It is noteworthy that the government has requested vaccination of all teachers against the Covid-19. This would ensure the safety of learners and the teachers. Other workers may be advised to get vaccination too.
One of the measures schools can take to ensure learner safety is social distancing. Learners may distribute a meter apart. This would also mean classrooms may be limited.
The community may support schools to erect temporary structures to supplement existing classrooms. Volunteer teachers can be encouraged to participate to help with the newly created classes.
Another measure is to install handwashing points strategically in schools alongside the wearing of masks. Teachers, learners, school workers and visitors can be encouraged to wash hands and wear masks all the time.
These are important considerations if the learning is to resume any time soon.