By Monica Kobusiinge
Kampala: After six months of closure of schools something that had since left students stranded and worried about losing their academic years, Government has finally resolved on reopening of all institutions of learning with effect from September 20, 2020 starting with only candidate classes and finalists in higher institutions of learning.
The development has been confirmed in a statement issued by the Ministry of Education and Sports titled ‘Guidelines For Reopening Of Education Institutions And Implementation Of Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) meant to be fully observed by schools for the safety of students against the deadly Coronavirus when they resume operations.
“The Government has finally agreed to have schools reopened in a phased manner. After we have ascertained that schools can put in place the set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), the Government will okay the reopening of the remaining classes,” statement reads.
Once school resume, students will have restricted movements to protect them from getting exposed to the virus. They will also be required to report with at least four reusable two layer cotton masks and institutions will be required to offer them sanitizers.
Among other guidelines includes;
Each institution shall constitute a COVID-19 task force of not more than seven (7) members, including two (2) learners and a member of the support staff.
Each class/lecture room shall have a student monitor responsible for ensuring compliance to COVID-19 control and safety measures
All education institutions shall ensure the proper use of face masks that must be worn at all times. Each learner should have a minimum of two face masks.
Education institutions shall take every precaution to ensure that no learner, who is reported to have entered the country illegally, is allowed into institution premises. Such learners should be reported to the relevant authorities for necessary action.
Education institutions shall restrict entry to their premises by members of the public.
Education institutions should provide extra support to safeguard vulnerable learners, including, Special Needs Education(SNE) learners, and learners with identified health conditions.
Institutions should establish or strengthen collaboration with COVID-19 District Taskforce and social service providers for continuity of critical services in institutions such as health screening, school feeding programs, guidance and counseling.
Each institution should appoint a member of staff from the established COVID-19 taskforce to be a Community Liaison Officer (CLO). The CLO shall coordinate the institution’s relationship and engagement with the community to promote observance of Covid-19 control measures.
Institutions should guide and counsel learners against Covid-19 related stigmatization.
All education institutions should conduct behavior change and health education sessions for staff and learners and provide reminders on safety, in form of posters, on safe behavior.