The Covid-19 pandemic has affected different sectors of the nation, among which the education sector lies.
If Uganda had a better curriculum, learning would have continued even amidst the pandemic. Learning would have taken place in homes.
True, this learning took place for some learners but it’s unfortunate that to a bigger percentage, it won’t contribute to their academic excellence. Children have learnt to rear goats, hair styling, electronics repair, baking, sales and marketing, etc. There is that group of learners who have learnt almost none of these too.
These are good life skills, which children should learn though it’s unfortunate, that they won’t contribute to their academic achievements.
Back to the academic side, Senior Six, Senior Four and Primary Seven have been fortunate enough that when schools resume, they will be partially ready for the start of their next levels.
Now let’s look at Senior Five, Senior Three and Senior Two. These are having the hard test of life. The pause length in their learning has been such a long time that forgetting, losing morale, and giving up are some of the most probable options they are encountering. The pace has reduced and is still lowering for most of them. This, therefore, calls for more understanding by their academic stakeholders. It may not be easy for them to be moved by impulse. Remember some of these children have tested the life aside books, (which is often times fun), which won’t be allowed back in school. That’s going to make learning boring.
There is a small portion of parents, however, who have kept their children in the academic setting. Some have paid teachers to privately teach their children, give them learning material, supervise them and even have had assessment over this period. Don’t be surprised to get to school and find some are already done with the syllabus. These may experience some short term academic improvement. We may then see the tables overturn in academic achievement of different learners in comparison with their past.
Which category does your child, sibling, relative, or yourself belong to?
Now there is this Senior One. I think I should call it Senior One 2020. These had spent three weeks before the first lockdown and three weeks before the second lockdown. In total, they have studied for about six weeks. Do they qualify to go to Senior Two? Or is there a likelihood of having two Senior One classes since PLE results were released. So we would have Senior One of 2020 and of 2021. What if they merge and start afresh?
The lockdown may also determine who and how they will be after they return to school. Just the other day, I met two young boys returning from tattooing their chests.
The impact of the lockdown may be felt for about six years in the education sector. Prepare your child,sibling or yourself in time.
The author, Kryton Kukundakwe is a teacher at Mwengura S S, Bushenyi