KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Ministry of Education and Sports will release the new school calendar on December 14th, 2021.
But as the government plans to release the school calendar, it is emphasizing the need to consult the school proprietors and teachers under their umbrella bodies to find a solution to the key pending issues before the reopening.
Dr. Dennis Mugimba, the spokesperson Ministry of education noted that the calendar will be released by the education minister, Janet Kataha Museveni on December 14th. However, issues of transportation of learners reporting back, adherence of SOPs, masks availability for the learners, and also school fees recovery for the parents who had already paid before the schools were closed are still pending.
On the issue of transportation, Dr. Mugimba says the government needs to ensure that during the reporting process, learners do not spread the virus as they congregate for transport. He says that during the second lockdown, COVID-19 spread very fast among the learners at the time when they were returning home as schools were closed.
Reports indicate that different regions registered cases of COVID-19 among the learners who were returning home during the second lockdown as a result of transport rush.
According to the government, parents will have to provide masks to their children in both the government and private schools as they report back to school.
Unlike the first lockdown where the government provided masks to all learners as they reported back to school, this time the government says it’s the parents to take on the task.
Dr. Mugimba also highlights that the concern of parents who had paid fees for the very short period schools operated before the lockdown need to know how they can recover the fees they had paid.
He explains the engagement they are planning with the school managers will give answers to the school fees recovery question as many parents are demanding to know how the government is handling it.
About the SOPs Dr. Mugimba says the vaccination of teachers is still a must as unvaccinated teachers will not be allowed in school and so far, 70% of the teachers have got their first jab and 29% have fully been vaccinated. This is out of the 550,000 teachers that the ministry is targeting to vaccinate.
According to the education ministry, schools will be expected to provide the handwashing facilities (water, soap, and sanitizers) as learners report back next month.