Ayume’s remarks come at a time when several players in the education sector including fellow parliamentarians are tasking the education ministry to issue out an official road map for school reopening as the first step towards planning on resumption of physical teaching and learning activities.
chairperson of the Parliamentary Health Committee, Dr. Charles Ayume has advised
the education ministry not to rush the decision to reopen schools until when
the situation warrants the safety of learners and other people in the sector.
The MP Koboko Municipality made the remarks at Kololo ceremonial grounds at
a function on Friday where the education minister Janet Kataha Museveni met principals of
several Technical and Vocational Education and Training-TVET institutions to
handle over to them vehicles bought by the government under the Uganda Skills
Dr. Ayume who was until the 2021 election was an assistant in the Statehouse health monitoring unit told the education minister that the
sector should not be coerced by either internal or external pressures but rather
take the decision of school reopening with precaution.
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Dr. Ayume’s remarks come at a time when several players in
the education sector including fellow parliamentarians are tasking the
education ministry to issue out an official road map for school reopening as
the first step towards planning on resumption of physical teaching and learning
Besides the call for the said road map, many
educationists and policymakers are wondering why up to now Uganda remains an
island of school closure in the region to the extent of being ranked number one
among countries that have closed schools for the longest period in the world.
The Koboko legislator says although the measures on
COVID-19 seem to be radical, they have saved the country from being hit hard by
the pandemic thus justifying the need to keep education institutions closed for
a few more months than risking the lives of children, school staff, and parents.
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As the country debate the issue of school reopening,
there have been voices telling the government to look at the effect of
prolonging school closures on the economy and society at large. A recent report
by UNICEF indicated that School closures have created a very big shadow crisis for
children which might take decades to be recovered.
Beyond falling behind on their education, the report
shows that many children are missing out on school-based meals, experiencing
social isolation and increased anxiety, and being exposed to abuse and violence
not to mention dropout, child labour, and child marriage.
Ms Museveni reechoed that schools will be reopened next year but she expressed
worry about the slow uptake of vaccines by teaching and non-teaching staff in
education institutions which she says might affect the school reopening process.
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The Education minister also appealed to principals of
TVET institutions and other institutions of higher learners which were allowed
to reopen in November to ensure that they don’t relax on enforcing the COVID-19
At the function, 16 TVET institutions received vehicles
to enable effective transportation of staff and learners with the minister
warning them not to be tempted and use then in unofficial business or for
Meanwhile, the Education Minister also received a donation of 1.3
million N-95 face masks worth 1 billion shillings from FICA Uganda. The masks according to management of FICA will be distributed to the 1.1
million learners in health training institutions.