Government to Reopen Schools For Only 3 More Classes
From Daily Monitor. Parents should brace to stay with their children longer after it was established that plans are underway to recall a few learners to school next year following more than eight months of no studies.
Mr Ismail Mulindwa, the director of basic education in the Ministry of Education, however, said the decision will be informed by an assessment expected to be done next week.
“We can’t wake up and say we are going to add other classes without knowing what is happening. The Directorate of Education Standards is preparing to assess capacity on other classes with two metre distance. Whatever decision we take, we must be within the confines of the Covid-19 standard operating procedures,” Mr Mulindwa told Daily Monitor yesterday.
He neither denied nor confirmed their plan to take on only sub-candidate classes but insisted they will not take on all the learners.
Sources at the ministry, who preferred anonymity, said their plan is to have sub-candidate classes ( Primary Six, Senior Three and Senior Five) join the candidate classes when the report in January for their final term.
The sources said this will enable the continuing students progress to another class. But the sources warned that the other classes will automatically be promoted.
Mr Mulindwa, who chairs the ministry’s Covid-19 taskforce, said while they had planned for the candidates to report on January 11 for third term, this will be extended by a week to allow learners of voting age participate in the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for January 14.
He expressed hope that life could return to normal soon with reports of Covid-19 vaccines and treatment.
Without disclosing which schools have been affected by the virus after they reopened for candidate classes, Mr Mulindwa said they had managed to control the infections.
“It’s a tricky situation. How do we move these other students without freeing other classes? We are also thinking of automatic promotion. But these are my views. The President has hinted on it before. We don’t want to jam the system,” Mr Mulindwa said.
However, inspectors yesterday said they had not received money to carry out the assessment supposed to inform government whether it is safe to allow more learners return to school.
“We don’t have funds. If we are lucky and get some money, we will go back next week to check what we left behind. Some schools had complied but they could have relaxed and thus the cases you are seeing. If there are schools not observing the SOPs, we cancel the certificate,” the source said.
Mr Alex Kakooza, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, said they will only confirm how many classes to include on after an assessment.