As education institutions in Uganda prepare to reopen this Thursday for candidates and finalists, the opposition Democratic Party (DP) wants government to bail out schools which cannot meet the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued against the spread of COVID-19.
The DP says unless COVID-19 was just for formality, many of the local schools cannot observe the guidelines set by government for them to reopen including social distancing, buying sanitizers and temperature guns among many others.
Addressing the party’s weekly press briefing in Kampala today, Ismail Kirya the president Uganda Young Democrats (UYD)-the youth wing of the DP said opening the schools requires testing all the teachers and students because each category is vulnerable to the other.
“The guidelines were set basing on their own first schools in Kampala and the surrounding areas but not those schools in Lamwo, Nakapiripirit, Karamoja to mention but a few.” Said Kirya
He added, “Government collected over 20 billion shillings in disguise of fighting COVID-19 which it has failed to give accountability to the country. Please use that money to bail out the schools, teachers and non-teaching staff.”
He also said the directive for schools to either have boarding or day students with an aim of having one category in schools shows that government doesn’t understand their own schools.
“Let’s assume the school has resorted to boarding schooling, do they also have the capacity to house all their teachers? The answer is no. Now will the government be preventing the virus or just spreading it?” Wondered Kirya
He also said opening schools and leaving curfew in place is another night mare as teachers won’t be able to teach night lessons since they will be required to be at places of residence by 9pm.
Meanwhile the UYD president says the move to open schools for candidate classes will lead to half-baked students and will totally disorganize the rest of the classes.
“Every profession will be greatly affected because they will not have gone through the education process as it is supposed to be.” Added Kirya
The ministry of Education and Sports is currently undertaking inspection to ensure safe re-opening of schools scheduled on Thursday 15th October 2020 following a six months closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.