Uganda has indicated that Nursery school teaching was not suspended indefinitely however, will resume once teachers get vaccinated for the COVID-19.
Contrary to earlier reports, the Uganda Ministry of Education has indicated that Nursery school teaching was not suspended indefinitely however, will resume once teachers get vaccinated for the COVID-19.
“ECD centers (Nursery Schools) have therefore not been closed permanently as it has been purported in the press. It is therefore envisaged that the time for reopening of ECD Centers is dependent on how soon teachers in these Nursery schools will be vaccinated,” part of a statement from the ministry.
This was revealed in a draft document indicating guidelines that will help schools ensure the smooth reopening for commencing of studies earlier next month.
The Ministry said they are in their final stages of concluding the Early Childhood Development (ECD) policy that will outline best practices and procedures for providing ECD services in the country.
They, however, disclosed that they were advised by scientists that pupils in this age bracket are super-spreaders of the COVID-19 because it is hard for them to enforce all the SOPs in place including washing hands with soap, observing social distancing or wearing masks.
“SDG Goal 1 (Eradicate poverty) states that Early Childhood development interventions increase adult productivity and income, and reduce inequities. The Ministry is cognizant of this fact,” the Ministry said.
“The Health Scientists have advised the Ministry to delay the re-opening of ECD centers/Nursery Schools primarily because children/preschoolers, (whose immunity is still low), are super spreaders of the COVID-19 virus with a very high viral load thereby putting their teachers at great risk.”
The Ministry, however, notes that they are in discussions with different stakeholders over the strategy to recover lost time following the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown on the 20th of March 2020.
“This strategy is to guide schools on how to address the issue of catching up with the time lost in the most practical way. This will be issued to schools together with the guidelines for re-opening schools next week.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry reminds that the final guidelines will be issued on February 23rd after reviewing by the scientists and the health ministry in response to the COVID-19 SOPs.
“MoES has developed the draft Guidelines for schools as they reopen on the 1st of March 2021. These guidelines however must be aligned with Health Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures(SOPs) to be issued by the Ministry of Health by Tuesday,23rd February 2021. Guidelines will be issued immediately thereafter.”