BREAKTHROUGH: Schools to open in two weeks as stakeholders agree on guidelines

KAMPALA – Schools across the country will be allowed to stagger students’ return to the classroom over two weeks from September, it has been reported.

Reports indicate that schools could also be instructed to keep doors and windows open in a bid to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

For safe reopening to happen, sources say that the learners who had very little time in school due to the lockdown will be prioritized and these include primary one, two, three and then senior one on grounds that they had a new curriculum and senior two.

By strengthening the continuity of learning, sources in the ministry say that other interventions like self-study materials and online will be emphasized.

It is being reported that the Ministry of Education want to ensure that all learners have equal opportunity when it comes to learning, looking out for the applicable measures for every given category and level of learners.

To confirm this, a spokesperson of the ministry, Dr. Dennis Mugimba on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 said the government is commited to provide support towards the studying from home program by distributing home study materials.

He also appealed to the Headteachers to release the home study materials to the intended students.

The ministry of education tabled seven strategies as proposals for the safe reopening of schools during a virtual meeting that attracted several stakeholders including school proprietors, education umbrella organizations, and international school representatives.

All agreed stakeholders were convinced on the strategies that were presented including strengthening of Covid-19 surveillance system in schools.

For example, the Education Ministry wants the heads of institutions of learning to be accountable for the implementation of all SOPs in the schools and Covid-19 related management.

Still, under this proposal the ministry wants the communication and data compilation about Covid-19 to be key factors among schools on top of both the ministries of education and health-giving support in terms of health workers.

Reviewing the school curriculum is another proposal. The ministry says that the current curriculum will be reviewed in order to extract the core competencies and the rest of the topics be used as examples due to the short time the learners will be having in school.

On managing the number in line with the SOPs, the ministry suggests that schools put up temporally structures or take on double shifts especially in areas where the population is high.

The other two proposals from the ministry are vaccination of all the teachers, support staff, and students above 18 years.

Also, the ministry plans to broaden its stakeholders by including other ministries on the team among them are the ministries of ICT, Local government, office of the presidency that houses the RDCs who they say are part of the team already.

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