Schools Flouting SOPs, Forcing Students Into Boarding Risk Closure. – MoES.
Written by Editor on March 3, 2021
By Derrick Asaba
The education ministry has raised a warning to all educational institutions that are operating outside the operational guidelines issued by the Ministry to stop immediately.
This was during a press conference held at the Uganda media center in Kampala on Wednesday that sought to clarify issues around the reopening of education institutions under the Covid-19 Standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the recovery of the lost time.
The director of Education standards at the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), Dr. Kedrace Turyagyenda raised an alarm on the closure of schools that are forcing students in boarding sections and admitting learners into school in other classes outside guidelines by the ministry.
“It’s not enough to just open. Schools and all school leaders are appealed to, to continually observe the standard operating procedures as they open for the learners otherwise they risk being closed,” Turyagyenda said.
This comes after a number of reports by the media showing that some schools are behaving contrary to the reopening guidelines issued by the ministry.
Speaking at the conference, the director of Basic education at the MoES, Hajji Ismael Mulindwa noted that schools that are doing so are acting irregularly and urged the public to report such cases.
“We have been announcing the reopening in phases and if someone takes back learners of classes that have not yet been authorized, is not only irregular but also against the law and should be reported,” Mulindwa remarked.
On hiking school fees amid this period, Mulindwa advised such schools to first consult with the ministry for the law mandates them to regulate the school fees in the country. He added that names of these schools should be reported and the ministry takes action.
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education and Sports, Alex Kakooza noted that no school should force students to join boarding sections for it is irregular and advised to opt for tutorial shifts.
“Schools operating day and boarding should try as much as possible to make arrangements that these learners do not mix preferably to operate in shifts or alternate days based on the school administration to minimize interactions,” Kakooza said.
Summary of other recommendations by the ministry
To ensure effective recovery of lost time, the ministry has set up the following strategies;
To reorganize the sequencing of the curriculum content such that work that can’t be covered in the current class is pushed to the next classes.
A hybrid curriculum implementation which shall include distribution of self-study materials that will supplement the lessons given by teachers, those broadcasted on radio and TV and we have also uploaded published audio and audiovisual learning materials on the ministry website and other sites like NCDC.
About school fees where a number of parents complain about inability to pay fees, the ministry recommends that;
Education institutions engage their parents and guardians to adopt flexible fees payment arrangements and allow payments in appropriate installments. The management and governance of all education institutions shall review institutional annual work plans to realign these work plans and budgets to fit in the educational and institutional programs and priorities.
Schools and institutions should avoid undertaking capital development projects of buying of buses, construction of buildings, among others so that parents only pay fees that can maintain learners in schools.