Bulamogi County MP Kenneth Lubogo raised a matter of National Importance questioning why government had not taken a step to declare a ‘dead’ academic year given the Covid-19 pandemic.
The MP also noted the unclear communication on the opening up of school from different government institutions.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has
directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to immediately appear before
parliament and provide the government position in regard to re-opening of
Kadaga’s directive followed complaints by a section
of Members of Parliament in regard to the contradictory statements from
different government institutions in regard to the proposed re-opening of
schools which have left parents, proprietors of schools and other people
Education institutions were closed in March this
year after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The move was meant to protect
over 15 million learners in
high-risk concentration centres, against corona virus and at the time of the
closure, the idea was that learners could report back to school after 32 days.
It is now coming to
seven months and schools are still closed. The country’s academic
year normally runs from February to November covering 260 days of curricular and
co-curricular activities, assessment, and national examinations. Under this
arrangement, the system leaves 104 days for holidays. Around this
time, the children would be reporting for the third term of school.
Bulamogi County MP Kenneth Lubogo
raised a matter of National Importance questioning why government had not taken
a step to declare a ‘dead’ academic year given the Covid-19 pandemic.
The MP also noted the unclear communication on the
opening up of school from different government institutions.
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Lubogo also questioned the level of preparedness by government
in case there is an outbreak of Covid-19 in schools.
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Mukono South MP Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga also noted
that proprietors of schools where facing a lot of difficulties in regard to which
direction to take given the contradictory statements from government in regard
to the opening up of the sector.
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Kasambya County MP Gaffa Mbwatekamwa also noted that
school proprietors have incurred costs due to the confusion since a number of
them have embarked on renovations and ensuring provision of more space to allow
physical distancing. He said that school owners were even incurring more loans to
have students resume schools.
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The MP further said that there are a number of
issues including a bail out to teachers that government is yet to respond
before schools are opened up.
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Kadaga then directed that Prime Minister Dr.
Ruhakana Rugunda to appear before parliament and give a government position on
the re-opening of education institutions.
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She also noted that parliament will have to hold a detailed
discussion about the education sector in the presence of the Minister of
Education and Sports Janet Museveni.
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However, the Minister of State for Tourism informed
parliament that Cabinet was to hold a special meeting this week in regard to the
education sector and the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic after
which, President Museveni will address the country on the way forward.
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Museveni had earlier on said that the big announcement on schools would be made
before September but no announcement has come up yet. Meanwhile, Governments
around the world are slowly reopening schools as health experts say it’s vital
for children to resume education having put in place standard operating