What you need to know:
- Last week the Ministry issued a circular, which in addition to suspending school visitation days and leavers’ parties, discouraged non-essential trips out of the school by learners in boarding.
- The Uganda National Examination Board (Uneb) is slated to conduct the 2022 PLE starting on November 7 with the briefing of candidates. Learners will then sit for their papers on November 8 and November 9.
The Ministry of Education has said noncandidate pupils in the day section will stay home for two days, to pave way for Primary Seven candidates to sit for their examinations, which kicks off next week, without interruption.
The Ministry of Education on the other hand has banned parents from picking non-candidate pupils in the boarding section from schools until the term ends due to the Ebola outbreak.
As per the November 1 circular by the acting permanent secretary of the Ministry, Mr Ismail Mulindwa, they have learnt that some primary schools with boarding sections are asking parents to pick up their children in classes below P7 for a break during the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).
Mr Mulindwa noted that sending home learners in the boarding section is in total violation of the clear guidance the Ministry of Education sent to schools on Ebola.
“The purpose of this circular is to direct head teachers and managers of all primary schools with boarding sections to desist from asking parents to pick their children in non-candidate classes for a school break during the PLE. Arrangements should be made to keep the concerned learners in the boarding facilities for the two days,” he said.
Last week the Ministry issued a circular, which in addition to suspending school visitation days and leavers’ parties, discouraged non-essential trips out of the school by learners in boarding.
It is against this background that students in the boarding section cannot go home until the term ends.
Meanwhile, Mr Mulindwa asked children in day schools to remain home while Primary Seven pupils sit for their final exams.
Sources in the Education ministry said students, especially those in the boarding section, are safe because exposure with the outside people is limited.
“We need to restrict interaction between the learners in the boarding section with the public. They are safer while in schools as opposed to mixing them with the public,” the source said.
Mr Mulindwa directed all resident district commissioners, chief administrative officers, district education officers and district inspectors of school to ensure that the primary schools comply with the above directive.
He also warned that all school heads must comply with the guidelines that have been issued by the ministries of Health and Education.
“If schools defy the guidelines, it will be inappropriate and demonstrates a lack of appreciation of the current public health emergency arising from the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), and the need for effective implementation of the necessary infection prevention and control measures,” Mr Mulindwa added.
The directives come after the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, asked the Ministry of Education and Sports to consider early examinations for non-candidate classes so that schools can close early for the third term holidays.
Dr Aceng said the move is aimed at decongesting schools and minimise the risk of spreading Ebola.
The Ministry of Health last month also announced that at least six pupils from three schools in Rubaga Division in Kampala City were among the 47 Ebola patients fighting for their lives at various treatment centres in the country.