KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Ministry of Education and Sports has cautioned public and private schools against forcing learners to join the boarding sections.
Dr Kedrace Turyagyenda, the Director of Education Standards, says they have noted that some schools which were formally registered as a day or day and boarding have closed the day section pressurizing learners to either join the boarding section or seek admission elsewhere.
Dr Turyagyenda says though some of these schools are private entities, they are bound by regulations from the ministry of education and cannot just take a decision contrary to the license issued to them.
She adds that some of the schools forcing learners into boarding sections are officially categorized as day schools but have since turned some of the classrooms and nearby apartments into dormitories which against the rules.
While announcing the reopening for candidate classes last year, the government issued a circular guiding that a school could not have the two sections of learners at the same time.
At that time many schools categorized as day and boarding opted for one section with most of them running as boarding. The guideline however affected several parents who could not afford boarding section fees and requirements.
According to the revised school operation procedures, a school categorized as day and boarding were told to operate as such without letting day scholars interact with students in the boarding section but, schools have refused the option.
For instance, Bishop’s Senior School, where about 70 percent of the enrolled learners have been commuting from home decided to shut the day section. The decision has attracted protest from parents.
Some school administrators noted that it will be difficult for them to meet the requirement for operating as day and boarding.
Aron Balinda, Dean of academics at Kisaasi College, noted that schools have opted to remain operating as boarding as they can’t afford to prevent the day students from interacting with those in boarding as the guideline requires.
However, Alex Kakooza, the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, notes if schools officially categorized as day and boarding can decide to teach both sections in shifts where learners from one section study either in the morning or afternoon.
Kakooza adds that such schools can as well opt for alternate day attendance schedules where different sections of the school attend on alternate days as deemed appropriate in a bid to ensure that numbers are manageable.