Ensure schools adhere to SOPs

Tuesday September 08 2020

Government has cleared schools to reopen for candidate classes and finalist students in universities and other institutions on September 20.
However, the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) says the capitation grant given to schools is not enough to implement Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) in public schools. Unatu has asked government to meet the cost of implementing the SOPs.
The government should address Unatu’s concern to ensure safety of learners and teachers from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the responsibility of government to see to it that facemasks, sanitisers, temperature guns, hand-washing points with adequate water and soap are available at all schools before they are allowed to reopen.
The government should also make sure that other measures such as social distancing, are implemented.
Therefore, the government should provide funds to enable schools properly implement Covid-19 SOPs.
The Federation of Non-State Education Institutions says many private schools have the capacity to implement SOPs. It adds that they have already bought the requirements.
However, before they are allowed to operate, government should inspect them to ensure that they meet the required standards.
Learners, teachers and other staff of schools should also be given adequate instruction on how to conduct themselves to prevent spread of the coronavirus scourge.
Everyone within the school premises should wear masks properly - covering the mouth and nose, not on the chin as unfortunately practiced by many people countrywide, including leaders who should be guiding people on SOPs.
Members of the public should adhere to body hygiene, including especially frequent washing of hands. Therefore, hand-washing points should be placed in strategic areas at the school premises, and teachers given the responsibility of enforcing it. No learner and teacher should be allowed in class without first washing their hands.
School administrators should ensure that they supply enough water to their schools. Parents who can afford should also buy hand sanitisers for their children and sensitise them how to use it well to enable them attend lessons safely. Management of schools should tightly control access to school premises by those who are not learners or staff members to prevent spread of Covid-19.