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Open schools to save future generation, educationists plead

Schools were closed early in June to curtail the spread of Covid-19 in their premises. @CanaryMugume/File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | School proprietors in Mukono district under their umbrella body, Mukono District School Proprietors Association have challenged the government to devise means of enabling schools to reopen during the the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawrence Lugoloobi, the association chairperson says Uganda may take more years with COVID-19 as it is projected by the experts, adding that the continued closure of schools without a clear plan on when they will be opened is a serious blow to the education sector, which in the long run kills the future generation.

Lugoloobi states that since the closure of schools in March 2020 at the beginning of the first lockdown when COVID-19 had just reached Uganda, children have gone through a lot of challenges including those whose education prospects have completely died.

He highlights children who have given birth to their fellow children and others who are still pregnant.

Lugoloobi who was addressing his fellow school proprietors in a meeting held at Naggalama Junior School in Nakifuma-Naggalama town council, cited children who are six years but have never gone to school, those who completed Primary Seven and Senior Four implying that schools will open with two senior ones and two senior five classes, but the Ministry of Education and government at large have not yet come out to address such challenges.

On the fact that schools are not safe as they confine children from different communities, Lugoloobi says following the partial lifting of the lockdown which allowed most of the parents to go back to their places of work, children are left at home alone with liberty to move anyhow which also puts them at a risk.

He says a restricted place in the form of a school will keep the children better, more so if the Covid-19 standard operating procedures are fully followed.

He is however optimistic that after suffering for so long, most of the teachers have now been vaccinated and urged his fellow school owners to call upon those who are yet to get vaccinated to do so.

Fr. Gerald Bwenvu, the Lugazi Catholic Diocese education secretary has asked the school proprietors and headteachers to accept the fact that many of them during the first reopening of schools made mistakes, including confining sick children who were suspected to be victims of Covid-19.

Bwenvu says they should this time assure the government and parents that they will not commit the same mistakes again.



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