ECD Association Petitions Speaker Seeking For Opening Of Nursery Schools.
Written by Amy on February 24, 2021
Earlier this month, the Education Minister Janet Museveni said nursery schools handling children aged three to six will remain closed throughout the Covid-19 season. She explained that this particular age bracket doesn’t wear face masks and are at high risk of contracting respiratory infections like coronavirus.
Teachers on the other hand urgue that nursery schools are vital in motivating young learners to appreciate school and education as a whole and hence their attitude towards education is likely to change if they don’t join school early enough.
Sandra Beatrice Odweki, a teacher at Grand Mother’s Arms Primary and Nursery School in Kasese town, says from her experience children who have gone through nursery actively participate in primary section, much more than those who start school from primary one.
The Early Childhood Development Association of Uganda led by President Manuela Mulondo met Kadaga has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, seeking her intervention in attempts to reverse a government decision to keep pre-primary schools closed indefinitely.
Mulondo told the speaker that the reasons that the government fronted to keep early childhood development centers closed were not based on facts. “When the government said that the pre-primary schools would create a lot of interaction between schools and parents this was a false fear since sufficient evidence shows that children and schools are not key drivers of the epidemic, … even in countries where schools remained open most infections in children were acquired at home, besides children less than 10 years old were less susceptible to infections.” she says.
Though, parents reacted differently upon postponed re-opening of pre-primary schools; in Bunyangabu for example parents say they lack the skills, knowledge and time to teach their children. Caroline Katusabe a resident of Buhesi town council said, “Pre-primary schools should be opened like the rest of other classes to enable us to attend to businesses.”
Parents in Busia, a district at the Eastern border of Uganda and Kenya, perplexed and desperately looking for solutions to keep children away from home found out that schools in Kenya reopened in the first week of January after being closed for nine months to contain the new strain of coronavirus. Together with their children in lower Primary classes are taking advantage of the proximity to tap into the opportunity for continuous learning across the border. Parents like Melika Auma, a resident of Nangwe-Mugungu village in the Western division of Busia Municipality and Moses Wafula, another resident at the border, have their children ranging from nursery and Primary three enrolled in St, Mary’s Nursery and Primary School, in Busia Kenya.
Geoffrey Kawo Mbulu, the chairman of Mugungu village says that Kenyan schools are also aggressively looking for learners from the Ugandan side. They provide transport means from the Kenyan side with buses seen crossing the borders as early as 6AM to pick learners, who are brought back home at sunset.
Many parents who can’t home school their children are opting for hiring a tutor to either come home for a few hours or take their children to the tutor’s home. A few have the time and patience to teach their own children since the tendency of some is to not take very seriously what their parents may be teaching them.