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REVEALED: Schools across the country defy govt directive on holiday teaching

Janet Museveni, the First Lady and the minister of education. Schools have reportedly continued to teach in holidays despite ministry’s order not to (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Schools around the country have continued teaching during holidays, defying a directive issued by the Ministry of Education of Sports, a survey shows.

Schools across the country officially closed on August 23 and consequently, the Education Ministry released a statement asking schools to obey to the school calendar by closing for holidays.

But a mini-survey conducted by this website around the country shows that the schools have continued teaching. In Mbarara Municipality, major private and public schools, both secondary and primary, were found open, with lessons going on.

In most of the schools, it is the candidate classes; P.7, S.4 and S.6 studying during the holidays.

One of the school headteachers, who requested anonymity, said the school has been traditionally teaching during the holidays, adding that this period enables them to prepare their candidates adequately for the national exams.

“We have always carried out holiday teaching. It is the best time for the teachers to have adequate time with the candidates,” he said.

In Mbale, most schools were also open, with lessons normally going on. However, we were unable to secure interviews with the school authorities, who suspected that we could be government officials spying on them.

However, some of the schools claimed that the holiday programme is okayed by the district authorities, a claim we could not verify.

In, Kampala some schools were open and teaching. Learners could be seen in Kamwokya and in Kololo with back packs. They were however not easy to identify since most of them were wearing ordinary clothes. Some of the learners attending the holiday classes said they did not like coaching while others did not mind the practice, saying it helps them revise.

“Reading during the holiday is one of the hardest things I can do. But when I attend classes, I open my books because we are given home work. That helps me. At times we study things that our teachers have not yet taught and that helps me be ahead of the class,” said Charles Otto, a senior three student.

However, MR Alex Kakooza, the permanent secretary in the ministry of education, said they have not been able to stop the vice because parents and teachers are colluding to make sure that the practice continues.

According to Mr Kakooza, it is the responsibility of the inspection department of the ministry to make sure that schools are closed during holidays and no classes are taking place. However, they fail because of new methods deployed by teachers and parents.

According to the 2019 school calendar released by the education ministry, learners this year were scheduled to spend a total of 253 days at school during school terms and 104 days at home for holidays.

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