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Schools Reintroduce Long Distance Teaching for Semi Candidates for Continuity

For the semi candidates who were returning on June 7 for their special term before getting promoted to candidate classes, some secondary schools have embarked on reintroducing long distance learning for the 42 days of lockdown on the sector.

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Some secondary schools around Kampala have resolved to start sending notes to their students who are now at home due to an abrupt second lockdown on schools in fear of the spread of the Covid-19.

President Museveni directed a second lockdown on schools on June 7th, citing fear of spreading Covid-19 among the learning institutions that host a huge population of about 1.5million learners.

With exception of the nursery schools that remained closed even after the staggered reopening, schools had started recovering for the lost period of over a year due to the spread of Covid-19 in the country since March 2020.

For the semi candidates who were returning on June 7 for their special term before getting promoted to candidate classes, some secondary schools have embarked on  reintroducing  long distance learning for the 42 days of lockdown on the sector.

Edward Kanoonya, the headteacher of Kololo secondary school, says that the school has started drawing a schedule for the students to physically come to school and pick notes starting next week.

Kanoonya states that the initiative is aimed at keeping the semi candidates in books as they copy notes from where they stopped before they were released yesterday June 7.

He explains that the school is considering that the relevant teachers will take on the responsibility of explaining in depth the notes when the students return as will be guided by the government.

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Edward Ssekiziyivu, the deputy headteacher of Wampewo Ntake  SS says the school will continue engaging the semi candidates through the school website and digital platforms of whatsApp to give them work in form of notes and to keep them away from idleness during the 42 days of lock down.

Ssekiziyivu says the school has started with sending physics notes to the senior three (S.3) students and arrangements are under way to ensure that all students are catered for but starting with the semi candidates.

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According to the school heads this is not the first time they are going through this situation but the abrupt closure of the learning institutions found them unprepared.

During the first lockdown on the sector that happened in March 2020, many schools struggled to ensure continuity as they based on the self –study learning materials that were promised by the government which were also delayed and not enough.

Muhammad Sserugo, another head teacher at Kinaawa High Kawempe says the school is now encouraging parents to acquire digital phones in order to benefit from the work that will be availed on the school digital platforms.

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Lawrence Ssemujju, headteacher City Secondary School in Wakiso says the school will be sending notes to their students in senior three and five using the school-parents whats-app forum.

Ssemujju admits that the students cannot easily copy and read notes given to them by the school as a way of catching up with time that is going to be lost during the 42 days.

‘’We are going to be providing notes to the semi candidates for them to copy," he says. "We just want to keep them busy because from our past experience they cannot read and internalize theses notes.’’

Meanwhile the ministry of education is planning to come up with interventions that will enable the learners to continue studying during this second lockdown while at home. 

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