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.