Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Education under the Directorate of Education Standards-DES is conducting compliance inspection of schools ahead of scheduled reopening for more classes.
Dr. Kedrace Turyagyenda, the Director of Education Standards in the ministry, says before schools receive more learners they want to assess the level of compliance to the standard operating procedures.
“We are working with the local government and we are set to reach out to over 135 districts. looking at every aspect of the issued standard operating procedures,” the director said.
According to the staggered school reopening schedule, more classes are expected to reopen in April and May as candidates finish their examinations.
The schedule shows that primary five and four pupils will return immediately after the Easter holiday on April 6. This is after Primary Seven candidates will have completed their examination.
Senior One will also reopen on April 12 while senior two students will report back on May 31. Learners in lower primary (P.1, P.2, and P.3) will also reopen on June 7.
Dr. Turyagyenda also adds that the inspection will also investigate reports from different individuals – including parents and students – on non-compliance by schools.
“We have also received complaints from several schools. We are also going to use the ongoing inspection to reach these schools and establish every detail. And a report will be issued out thereafter,” Turyagyenda said answering a question on the concerns raised by students and parents of Lubiri Secondary School.
Students and parents allege that the school has turned classrooms into dormitories and forcing students into boarding sections. This among others led to protests which saw students damage several properties at the school and in the aftermath 56 students were arrested and detained for almost 24 hours.
According to the Ministry of Education guidelines, schools are not allowed to accommodate students in places that are not designated as dormitories given the fact dormitories have specific features.
Besides rules on operating a boarding section, many other schools have also been flouting social distances guidelines while others have admitted learners whose classes have not yet been allowed to reopen.
However, headteachers insist that some of the SOPs are not compatible with the Ugandan school environment. During a recent interview, Pancratius Turyatunga, headteacher St Peters Primary School-Kyoga in Isingiro district pointed out rules on social distance noting that without enough furniture and structure this can only be dreamt about.