Kampala. Some schools across the country have defied a government ban on holiday teaching, with some extending teaching for two weeks after the term closed.
For example, Trinity College Nabbingo extended their term for a week at a cost of Shs70,000 while at Mt St Mary’s Namagunga, students have had to pay Shs150,000 for the two weeks during the holiday.
Ms Dorothy Matovu, the head teacher of Trinity College Nabbingo, said: “We have been doing it; even last year we did it and no parent has complained to me. This extension was allowed by the parents. I know it’s a ministry policy not to teach during holidays. But we are finishing the syllabus with the candidates. Those who have not paid have been allowed to study.”
Dr Kedrace Turyagyenda, the director of the Directorate of Education Standards, said the ministry of Education policy, which stops schools from teaching the holidays, still stands.
She explained that schools should ensure they utilise the three months government allocates for teaching each term to cover the syllabus.
The government reasons that holiday teaching denies children time to refresh their minds, learn life skills and be able to bond with their parents and the community to develop values that can help them survive in the future.
“As usual, it is defiance from schools. Parents are complaining that it is the schools, which make it compulsory for the children to go for that extra work. They are threatened that the work covered during the term was not enough, which is unethical,” Dr Turyagyenda said.
She added: “All that work should have been covered during the term. It is stressful for the parents because they have to look for that extra money to facilitate the holiday teaching. It is stressful for the children because they don’t rest.”
Ms Matovu said their school gives their students skills, which their parents have failed to do.
“We ask children to peel on Sundays but if you see them, you wonder what parents are doing at home. A child soaks clothes for a week without washing them. They hang them and leave them to rot but when they reach home, they tell their parents that they were stolen. Who trained such a child? We are struggling with these children,” she said.