Monday January 11 2016

No school should open before official date set by the ministry

By Mweru Samuel Byachi

The Ministry of Education’s warning to head teachers and school directors against opening for the first term before the official beginning of the academic year should be taken seriously by all stakeholders. This is because education should be run according to government policy and not the wishes of school proprietors.

The Education ministry issued a schools’ and other institutions calendar for 2016 on November 18, 2015, and was copied to various people, including LC5 chairpersons, RDCs, CAOs, town clerks, municipal councils, education officers, inspectors of schools, directors of national teachers’ colleges, principals of primary teachers’ colleges, technical institutes, farm schools, and other tertiary institutions, and all head teachers, government and private secondary, primary schools as well as community polytechnics.

According to the circular, first term for primary, secondary, technical, farm schools and community polytechnics runs from February 22, to May 13, while second term will begin on June 6 to September 2, and third term will start on September 26 and end on December 9. It was crystal clear that the term opens after polling day and the parents were to be informed on the calendar.

Do some of the school proprietors who want to disregard this guidelines know the consequences in case violence breaks out after elections, and do they have the capacity to compensate the parents? Do they appreciate the need for children to rest enough before they resume academics? Do they also appreciate the challenges parents go through in raising tuition? What logic would their early opening make when other children are going back after elections? Do they recall there is a government in Uganda and the Education ministry as the regulator?

There seems to be much freedom in the education sector and the parents and children are under constant abuse in the name of quality education and government ought to crack the whip on these errant school administrators.
Mweru Samuel Byachi,