EDUCATION

PM Nabbanja: Phased reopening of schools on course

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Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA — Tight Covid-19 containment restrictions could remain until early September, but medical students are on course to return to school next month.

The plan to return medical students to the classroom would mark the beginning of a phased return of schools, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has told Members of Parliament

She, however, said that home-based teaching and learning will continue, in what is being described as a necessary cautious approach.

However, Ms. Nabbanja who was addressing Members of Parliament Parliament on Wednesday July 21 said this approach, is subject to change depending on the latest risk assessments by National Taskforce on Coronavirus and Cabinet.

“The Health and Education Ministries are developing a comprehensive plan for the re-opening of schools in a phased manner” the Prime Minister.

Education and Sports minister Janet Museveni last week said that it is premature to reveal when school will reopen.

She said the ministry is waiting for a decision from cabinet.

“I do not want to say there is a time in future we know when we will open. Whether it will be a long process of opening some and not others, is yet to be decided,” Janet Museveni said.

A new schools year was also set to start in August.

This arrangement was cut short when the President declared a fresh 42-days lockdown on June 18.

Sources at the Ministry of Education note that they have been discussing possible situations of reopening schools but they are yet to conclude.

“The ministry would like all learners to cover something on their current class syllabus before they are promoted but the extended lockdown distorted the times. For example, they are class like P1 to P3 who have never returned to school since march last and authorities are planning to see how they can be fitted in,” a source noted.

Currently, there are concerns from parents, school owners, educationists, and learners alike that the more the ministry delays in making decisions and developing plans for reopening, the more the sector will be affected.

The system is getting clogged with candidates being passed on to the next level of education yet those in the next classes have not been promoted.

For instance, with PLE results released, the 2020 candidates have been promoted to S.1 but those currently in the class have only spent a few weeks in school with most of them not even covering half of the syllabus.

As a tentative solution, Janet Museveni noted that parents should embrace home-schooling as the ministry looks at the possible plan.

She further adds that if home schooling is embraced, the ministry will be sending materials to all learners

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