Counselling, Covid take centre stage on first day

Nakasero Primary School pupils copy notes from the blackboard on January 10. Pupils were asked to follow SOPs while at school. PHOTO/JOSEPH KIGGUNDU

What you need to know:

  • Learners are returning to school after two-years which has exposed them to a number of challenges.

After nearly two years of closure to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, schools across the country resumed their operations yesterday following a government directive to reopen them.

In some of the schools that Daily Monitor visited in Kampala City, teachers began their classes by counselling the students and getting them back in the mood to study.

At City High School, Mr Emmanuel Otim, the deputy head teacher in-charge of academics, said: “About 100 students reported on the first day.”

Ms Irene Malwa, a teacher of History at the school, began her 10am lesson with the Senior Three class by asking the students to wear their facemasks properly. 

She proceeded to lecture them on Covid-19 and why they all need to continuously observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Ten minutes into the lesson, Ms Malwa asked the students if they were ready to study.

“We are not ready,” the students responded.
“Why not?” Ms Malwa wondered.

Some of the students said they were not in the mood.
Ms Malwa then asked them what they did during the lockdown.

“We were working, madam,” one student responded.

“And digging…” another student added.

Ms Malwa told them it was good that they were busy during the lockdown but now that they were back to school they should focus on their studies.

At Kololo High School, while students in Senior Two, Three, Four and Six were having lessons, those interested in joining Senior One and Five were waiting at the administration block to seek admissions. 

In one Senior Two class, Ms Janat Namwalo, the class teacher, utilised the morning hours to engage her students and counsel them.
“I want to encourage all of you to focus on your studies again. If you start having challenges, please, come and share so that I find a way of helping you,” Ms Namwalo said.

Then, she asked them about their experiences during the lockdown.
“I was working with my mother at her restaurant,” one student said.
There were about 80 students in the class and were spaced during their sitting so as to observe SOPs. All were wearing facemasks.

On the sidelines, Ms Namwolo joked that the physical appearances of some of her students changed during their absence from school.
At Buganda Road Primary School, inside the Primary One-A class, the pupils were excited about their first day of class. When asked how they were doing and what they did during lockdown, they raised their hands eager to respond to the teacher’s question.

Ms Rebecca Sennoga, the head of the infant section, who engaged with the Primary One-A class said the pupils seemed to have missed school, hence their positive attitude during the first day.

She added that many of the pupils were alert and were giving correct answers to most of the questions she asked.
“It means that their parents were teaching them during the lockdown,” Ms Sennoga said.

The youngsters were also sensitised about the Covid-19 pandemic including how to continuously keep safe.


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