The Ministry of Education says only schools able to meet SOPs will be allowed to reopen.
Following a Monday decision to see schools resume from September 20, The Education Ministry has made it clear that only schools that are in a position to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be allowed to reopen.
The Senior Presidential advisor, Dr Monica Musenero on Monday announced that a decision was taken following a meeting between the national Covid-19 taskforce and President Museveni to have all schools and institutions of learning reopen for only their final year students starting from September 20.
In her statement, Ms Janet Museveni, the Minister of Education, said that she wrote to the Minister of Finance on September 02 to release capitation grants for Third Term to enable schools to prepare for reopening of candidate classes.
‘’It has been brought to my attention that the capitation grants for Third Term 2020 were not released to the schools in July because the institutions were still closed. On account of the position taken in the above-stated meeting, this is, therefore, to request you to cause the release of funds to the beneficiary schools to prepare for the phased reopening of schools, “a letter from the Education Minster read then.
However, in the wake of events, the Ministry has drafted measures every single school and the university has to follow if they are to be awarded working licenses as a response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the measures, schools and institutions of learning have been ordered to limit the number of students in each classroom to only 15 to maintain proper social distance.
To be in a position to do so, schools have been advised to transform rooms including dining halls, conference halls, libraries among others into classrooms and study rooms to ensure that every room accommodates relatively few individuals.
“…given that these schools follow the school calendar of their international affiliates and their candidate classes do not correspond to the standard education cycles in Uganda, international schools in Uganda may reopen and operate at full capacity with effect from 21 Sept.
“…there should not be more than seventy learners in a room or hall of any size for a lesson or other purposes,’’ a statement from the Ministry read adding that safe outside shelters such as the use of tents and under tree shades can be used provided they help in maintain social distance.
The Ministry, however, advised schools and institutions especially those with very many students to consider teaching the students in at least two shifts daily that are to say, in the morning and the evening or allocate students particular days on when they should study.
Relatively, the Ministry says schools should not hike their tuition and school fees in response to the Covid-19 situation but rather to discuss with the parents concerned about how they can raise payments for particular necessities.
“The management and governance of all education institutions shall review institutional annual work plans and budgets to realign them with the changes in education institution programmes and priorities,’’ the written document reads further.
Meanwhile, the same document warns that primary and secondary schools as stated in earlier proposals will be required to adjust to either the day or boarding setting but limited to both.
This is so because students more so those on day program are usually exposed to many people on their way to school or home which might result into the spread of the virus in case they come into contact with an infected person in the process.
“Institutions shall ensure that restrictions are in place to prevent teachers from part-timing in multiple schools and thereby increasing the risk of spreading infections among institutions,” it added directing schools to take caution on part-timing teachers who switch from school to school.