UNATU faults gov’t approach to opening schools

A pupil at the Winnie Mandela Secondary School has her temperature measured as she enters the school premises before classes resume in the Tembisa township, Ekurhuleni, on June 8, 2020. - Grade 7 and grade 12 pupils in South Africa began returning to classrooms on June 8, 2020 after two and a half months of home-schooling to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. COURTESY PHOTO/Michele Spatari / AFP)

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) has criticized the government schools re-opening programme saying it has serious loopholes.

UNATU secretary general Filbert Baguma says that the manner in which government has handled the situation is likely to disturb the education structure noting that there are number of gaps within.

In his address to the nation last evening, President Yoweri Museveni announced that schools and higher institutions of learning would open for candidate classes and final year students respectively.

Filbert Baguma indicates that the effecting of this plan leaves gaps for the candidate classes next year adding that this is a positive step but still needs to be scrutinized.

He explains that government needed to open up for all classes to avoid controversy especially when it comes to school fees payments where most of the candidates had already paid which puts schools into dilemma of looking for money to run the school with the partial opening .

He expresses fears that a number of institutions are going to find challenges in operating the schools.

But Patrick Kaboyo, the National Secretary Federation of Non-State Education Institutions (FENEI) says schools should now focus on how to move on and fit into the available plan.

Kaboyo says the directive of the president has come as a result several consultations with the different concerned parties hence no need to lament about it but to ensure that its implemented.

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He also notes that putting into consideration the SOPs that are supposed to be observed, it’s not proper to open up for the whole school, noting that there is no school with capacity that can manage to handle a full opening.

Kaboyo suggests that at this stage, the way forward concerning the reopening process should be left for the technical people within the ministry of education and few that they would wish to consult for an input to guide.

Meanwhile, Abbas Kizito the spokesperson for the Uganda National Students Association says government should commit itself on addressing how schools would address the school fees issue.