During a meeting with Education Stakeholders in Kabale district’s Rukiiko hall on Wednesday 29th July, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of private schools and institutions in the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) George Mutekanga launched 27 SOPs to be followed by schools as they prepare for the reopening of of the institutions after five months of closure due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The new Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) for schools include, every school forming a COVID-19 taskforce, daily and timely screening of temperatures of learners, compulsory wearing of face masks by both learners and teachers.
The Ministry also wants the creation of isolations rooms at every school, daily disinfection of classroom floors, walls, furniture, toilets using soap and water, restricted access to schools and screening done at school gates.
They have set up other SOPs like creation of adequate spaces at schools to accommodate recommended distance, single beds for one student, and keeping 2 meters between beds among others.
However, the SOPs have attracted negative reactions from the Heads of Schools in Kabale who pointed out the fact that implementation will be hard or close to impossible because of the failure of government to provide money.
One of the key concerns is the continuous hand washing that requires constant supply of water which is lacking in most rural areas. The chairperson of Kabale private schools Apollo Chance said that such a guideline would only work well in urban areas but not rural ones.
The other concern is the acquisition of the temperature guns where Kabale municipal principal Education officer Grace Munyambabazi said that schools do not have money to buy temperature guns to help in temperature screening and they also do not have expertise in using the temperature guns.