School heads, proprietors demand full-scale reopening

Friday December 04 2020
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Some school owners demonstrated when the government refused to reopen schools. PHOTO/FILE

By Patience Ahimbisibwe

KAMPALA-Head teachers of government-aided schools and proprietors of private education institutions have urged government to fully reopen schools.
Mr Patrick Kaboyo, the general secretary of the Federation of Non- State Education Institutions (Fenei), said some of their members have been borrowing money to manage the candidate classes which reported on October 15.

Mr Kaboyo said the members  are threatening to give away their institutions because it is becoming difficult to maintain the learners with some parents failing to pay school fees.  

“It was not in the interest of government that students go back to school. We pushed. The request was scaled down to only candidates,”Mr Kaboyo said in an interview with Daily Monitor  yesterday .


He added: “All students should be allowed to go back to school because they are not safe at home. It has been noted that schools are safer because pregnancies are fewer, children are less on the streets compared to the rising cases we have seen in this period.” 

Mr Hassadu Kirabira, the representative of the Kampala National Private Education Institutions Association (NPEIA), asked government to stop wasting resources by conducting another assessment of schools to see how many more classes they can allow to report.  

“There is a tendency of government bringing things at the last minute and causing confusion. They should come up with a timely programme to indicate what is required to reopen,” Mr Kirabira said. 

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Mr Kirabira said in the worst case scenario, the government should allow pupils from Primary Five to 1 Seven and students from Senior Two to Senior Six to go back to school when the next term begins.  
He argued that because Senior One students are usually many, leaving them behind for now would free up some space in secondary schools and gradually include them after assessing the progress. 
 
The government head teachers under their umbrella, the Association of Secondary School Head teachers of Uganda (ASSHU), has also warned that their campaign is to have all learners back to school to relieve them of the economic burden they are grappling with as many parents have failed to raise fees. 

Mr Martine Okiria Obore, ASSHU chairperson, said they will ensure they limit outsiders from accessing the school premises and stop visitations but at least have full functional institutions. 

The schools will break off for second term holidays on December 18 and will return on January 11 although this is likely to be extended because of the presidential elections on January 14.


Government, infrastructure    fund,  electricity projects   
The infrastructure fund, according to Ministry of Energy, will replace the Energy Fund that was halted around 2015 by Ministry of Finance.

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