The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) has unveiled new guidelines that will be followed by schools and institutions of higher learning when the phased re-opening of the learning institutions kicks off starting September 20.
Listed below are the guidelines:
- Schools to operate as boarding or day but NOT both
- Boarding Schools NOT to conduct any sports activities and group assignments
- Schools that teach in shifts to have morning classes upto 12:30PM, Afternoon classes to start at 2:00PM. This is to allow disinfection of the affected surfaces.
- Primary and Secondary schools to have a qualified a health worker
- Schools without health workers to collaborate with the nearest health centres.
- Foot-Operated hand washing facilities to be deployed at access points of the classrooms
- Re-arrangement of learners using all available rooms within the school to ensure social distancing. Libraries, laboratories, main halls to be transformed into classrooms if need be.
- Maximum of 70 learners in a room/hall for a class lesson
- Schools Shalll NOT increase school fees but instead adopt flexible payment arrangements with parents.
- Learners reported to have entered the country illegally NOT to be allowed into the institutions
- Part-time teachers in different schools to be restricted to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19
- Students to report with at least Two (2) reusable two-layer cotton masks
The Ministry insists that education institutions shall fully re-open for other classes after both the health and education ministries deem it healthy and safe.
Meanwhile, schools that run on international/foreign curricula and as well operate on international education cycles have been given a green light to operate at full capacity, if they meet the standard operating procedures and guidelines as advised by the ministries.
“…given that these schools follow the school calendar of their international affiliates and their candidate classes do not correspond to the standard education cycles in Uganda, international schools in Uganda may reopen and operate at full capacity with effect from 21 Sept,” the education ministry says.
The question that still remains a hot debate amongst learners and the general public is whether it is a right decision to re-open schools with the escalating numbers of COVID-19 community cases. As of yesterday (September 9), Uganda’s COVID-19 positive cases passed the 4000 mark with over 300 cases recorded in less than 4 days.