Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Directorate of Education under the Church of Uganda has directed for the phased orientation of teachers who were laid off after the closure of schools last year.
Schools across the country were closed as the government moved to decongest crowded spaces after an outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision sent more than 15 million learners home, alongside both teaching and non-teaching staff many of whom were eventually laid off as schools struggled to raise the wage bill.
Early this week, the government sent a signal that schools will be reopened starting with the semi candidate classes on March 1. The rest of the classes will also return to school as soon as the candidate classes conclude their Primary Leaving examinations on March 31, 2021.
Rev Dr Paul Kakooza, the head of the Church of Uganda Directorate of Education notes that as they wait for the detailed school calendar, headteachers in all church founded schools have been instructed to call back teachers for orientation. The directorate oversees 55 pre-primary schools, 4,904 primary schools, 460 secondary schools, 50 post-primary schools including vocational training schools, and 6 universities.
Rev Kakooza notes that the church has come up with several interventions that can be used to support learning and professionalism in schools. He says that they also intend to offer free refresher courses to all their teachers through Uganda Christian University-UCU.
Dr Charles Kahigiriza, the chairperson of the Church of Uganda Heads of Schools and Institutions’ Association welcomes the church move, saying that orienting teachers will greatly impact on student’s performance. However, he is concerned that some of the rural schools could miss out on the online component of refresher courses.