Education Minister Janet Museveni issues new directives on the continuity of learning during the lockdown, saying schools will not be re-opening on 27 April and 2nd May
Following the Presidential new directives issued on 14 April 2020 that saw the extension of the COVID-19 lockdown for 21 days, Ugandan schools and higher institutions of learning will not be re-opening on 27 April and 2nd May, as earlier announced by the Education Minister Janet Museveni.
The Minister of Education and Sports also the First Lady, Janet Kataha Museveni said this was based on the fact that Uganda is not yet out of danger from this coronavirus that has become a crisis globally as stressed by the President in his 14 April address on the status of COVID-19.
“In my first statement of 4 April 2020, I placed myself to two main issues. One reopening of schools and continuity of learning at home, regarding the reopening of schools and learning, I informed you that the sector will be guided by the National Task Force on coronavirus,” she said.
“If this coronavirus would have been contained in the first 30 days of school closure that were expiring on 20th April 2020, the tentative days for reopening of schools and tertiary institutions would be on 27th April 2020 and 2nd May 2020 respectively. Now I wish to inform you, that this will not be possible, in the present circumstances,” she added.
On the issue of continuity of learning during the lockdown, the Minister said parents and immediate family members should play a great role by engaging children in the learning process.
“I, therefore, reiterate my appeal to parents and families to help learning take place by involving the learners in their home activities to give them skills for life such as cooking, such as cleaning, gardening, looking after animals, business, art, music, physical activities, play and sports and many others and to spend time with learners to develop their values and positive attitudes. To tell them stories, riddles and other life lessons and support their learning, help your learners to make a craft or develop and innovation which will be required at school at the re-opening of schools,” the Minister urged parents.
Meanwhile, according to First Lady, the Ministry of Education and Sports has prepared basic concepts of learning materials for use in the continuity of learning while learners are still at home on radios and TV’s to ensure effective learning.
“This will be delivered on radios and televisions and mainly focus from P.1 to P.7 and secondary level. The learning by radios and TV’s has started today Monday 20 April 2020. As I said before these lessons will address basic concepts,” the Minister noted.
Also, learners will access pre-recorded lessons and others will access materials online, self-study print materials for P.1 to P.7 have also been developed, and will be distributed to learners by the district leadership.
“The Ministry will hand these materials to the district leadership led by the RDC and the CAO. These will distribute to the Sub-County Chiefs who in turn will hand them to the Parish Chiefs, and the Parish Chiefs will use the LC.1 to hand them to individual homes. This system I believe can work, especially where the district leadership are active and can monitor this program so that it can go all the way down to individual homes so that the children don’t have to run around in the district looking for these materials,” the Minister said.
Further, the Minister said that the National Council for High Education (NCHE) will work with universities to ensure continuity of learning.
However, she urged all teachers, instructors and lecturers to effectively prepare for all the lessons lectures for the current term or semester to redeem the time when school and institutions re-open.
In the same regard, the Education Minister Janet Museveni instructed every head of the Institutions to avail teachers with the necessary assistance to prepare their lessons as they wait for re-opening of schools.
The minister also mentioned that they are working closely with the Ministry of Health to derive standards procedures to be followed after schools re-open to ensure the safety of both learners and teachers.
These will include water sanitation and hygiene, psych-social support, safety and security of learners and continuity of various stakeholders.
The Minister adds that there will be active monitoring of the situation and make further recommendations as guided by the president, the Ministry of Health and the National Task Force on COVID-19.