The leadership of Uganda Secondary School Prefect’s Association-USSPA wants the government to declare the 2020 academic year, a dead for all. According to USSPA, opening school for candidate classes will be unfair to the rest of the learners.
The student leaders also say that the E-learning and self-study programs introduced by the Education and Sports Ministry to help learners because of the closure of schools owing to the nationwide lockdown haven’t been effective and helpful especially to rural learners.
Brighton Ainebyoona, the National President Uganda Secondary School Prefect’s Association, says this type of education aimed at helping students necessitates one to be in possession of a smartphone and computer, which are not available for most learners.
He says because of the numerous challenges, the majority of students haven’t been able to benefit from this mode of education.
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Fortunate Atwongire, the Speaker Mayhill High School Students’ Council and Uganda Secondary School Prefect’s Association member, says that this model of learning is discriminative between urban and rural learners.
She says some parents are currently engaging their children in home chores like grazing cattle other than supporting them to attend lessons.
Angellah Katusiime, a student at Kyeizooba Girls says despite the government’s decision to provide learning materials and e-learning platforms, Arts students have been left out.
She says students offering subjects like History, Economics, Literature, Music and Fine Art didn’t receive any learning materials.
Eric Kiiza, a member of the Writer’s club at Mbarara high school, says they want to meet the president and present their proposal.
He says most of their colleagues are involved with wrong peer groups and other activities that may ruin their future if not properly attended to and counseled.
Joweria Nabukera, a parent told URN they are worried that their children may use smartphones for non-educational issues.
Juliet Nyakahoza, another parent says the internet is awash with open porn sites that children might access.
Patrick Muinda, the Spokesperson Ministry of Education and Sports has advised the student leaders to raise their issues through the Covid-19 Taskforce for education, which is tasked with collecting views from different stakeholders.
“Am going to consult and see whether we can have an online meeting with them after they get in touch with us,” he said.