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Don't take children back to school yet - presidential advisor

Students of Kitante primary school

Students of Kitante primary school

Senior presidential advisor on epidemics, Dr Monica Munesero has advised parents not to take their children to school yet before the presidential address this Sunday, June 6.

Semi-candidates are expected to report for their special term on July 7 - with boarders reporting on Saturday, June 5. Musenero says that she has been receiving several calls from the parents asking for guidance on whether to take their children to school or wait for the presidential address.

She says that it’s better for the parents to wait for the address and make an informed decision on the issue of taking back the students to school.

"I have been having a lot of calls from parents consulting me to see whether they should take their children back to school because according to the education calendar, there are some children who are supposed to go on either on Monday or some have even gone earlier. So instead of addressing each individual, my advice is one; given the COVID situation, two given that we're going to get immediate guidance from the president on Sunday which is kind of overlapping. It is better that parents wait and get guidance from the presidential address on Sunday, then they will know what to do," Musenero said. 

She adds that to avoid the situation of parents rushing to pick children from school and spending money on paying fees, parents would be safer to wait for the presidential advice.

"What if the president says schools close, will the parent then have to rush and get back their children and the complications? So my advice as myself, as me is that parents could wait until Sunday and then could know whether to take their children or not," said Musenero. 

She says the COVID-19 situation in the country is worrying and also the increasing cases in schools need to be analyzed, adding that some schools have decided to hide cases which makes the situation worse for the country and the learners' population.

This comes at a time when some schools that have had confirmed cases decided to suspend classes and send the learners home for some period of time as they study the situation.

Among the few schools that have confirmed COVID-19 cases are Greenhill Academy primary and secondary school Kibuli. Musenero says that schools that have had confirmed cases of COVID-19 should ensure that they follow the right procedures recommended by the national task force. Among the steps to be followed is the isolation of any confirmed cases and reporting them to the district COVID-19 task force.

"One of the challenges we're having is many schools have COVID cases and they hid, they don't want to be known and yet the situation is blowing out of control. They hide and they don't know what to do...Of course, if you have cases, the first thing is to report." said Musenero. 

To make matters worse, two headteachers from Gombe secondary school and the director St Lawrence Ssonde are reported to have succumbed to coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the director of basic and secondary education Ismail Mulindwa also head of the COVID-19 task force when approached on the matter did not contradict Dr Musenero’s advice and said that as a ministry of Education they are also waiting for the presidential address to know the way forward.

‘’As a ministry, we cannot speak for Dr Musenero about her advice because she may be knowing something we do not know however, we are also waiting for the presidential address for a way forward," says Mulindwa.


+1 #1 kabayekka 2021-06-04 01:34
Of course it is an excuse for this government not to take these children to their schools.

There is no money to upgrade most of the dilapidated schools especially in the countryside where they have fallen into waste due to the long COVID19 lockdown.

Social media especially Facebook, have been showing many schools where anthill have grown in these schools.

On the U-tube on can see some schools which are showing kids very young and old attending school to have a meal and then go home. There are no teaching staff anywhere.
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0 #2 kabayekka 2021-06-04 01:43
Instead of this government that claims to have won the popular vote to request emergency international aid for most of the Ugandan kids who have not seen a modern classroom for one year, this government is dithering and puffing over increased COVID19 pandemic.

As if the world has not discovered some sort of vaccination against this plague. Surely professional teaching staff can work with the guidance of the medical staff all over the village schools to apply the vaccines in no time!
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0 #3 kabayekka 2021-06-04 01:57
One has seen some countries where the children can start to attend class at short terms and longer holidays as these countries watch the new system of COVID19 vaccination.

Uganda as a poor but democratic country is entitled to debt relief and The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This UNCRC, is the basis of all of UNICEF's work. It is the most complete statement of children's rights​ where Uganda is a member.
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0 #4 alex erejo 2021-06-04 10:18
Schools especially the Private Schools are terribly looting out of these short terms charging 80% or more for these new terms.

Can we have the Ministry guide on this?
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0 #5 Muhindo Doviko Musem 2021-06-04 15:54
In fact the president would assist us and tell us the way forward coz some students are even required to travel tomorrow 5/6.

Now if other students are already at school and on sunday the president imposes lock down and does not close some schools or particular classes how will the rest of the students reach their respective schools when public transport is not there?.Assist us when it is still early.
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+1 #6 WADADA rogers 2021-06-04 18:20
Musenero is indirectly telling parents and guardians not to pay school fees yet, otherwise no school will refunds school fees already paid for a particular term, she is saving you
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