KAMPALA – Legislators on the Education Parliamentary Committee yesterday tasked the minister of higher education JC Muyingo to explain why he doesn’t advise the president on the matter of opening schools.
The legislators said the way the situation is now, opening schools is not a good decision since even the school owners and parents are not in the best of conditions and the government is not ready to bail them out.
Muyingo who was in the company of officials from the Education Ministry was tasked by the commission to explain not only the reasons but the SOPs that are to be followed when the schools re-open.
Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu, the Kalungu West legislator said there were a lot of things the government needed to look into before making such a fundamental decision.
“How can you say you are going to open schools when you have not shown how preparations for the teachers are going to be handled? How are you going to handle Covid-19 cases in case the children get sick, how are the children going to be fed and transported?” he asked.
The Commission noted that the prevailing situation has not bred a firm ground for the schools to reopen like the President outlined because he was not advised.
Budiope West legislator Robert Musoke, said it would have been ideal for the government to declare a dead year rather than risking the lives of the learners.
“If we got a dead year because of Covid, that is how it should have been, rather than rushing like we did with the voting in the primaries and you all saw what was there. This means next year we are going to have two batches of students in non-candidate classes.”
Mbwatekamwa Gafa the Kasambya legislator also agreed with the members of the commission saying when the government says Children go to boarding, what remains of their teachers.
“We all know that in our school setting, teachers teach in school Z and later go to part-time in school X, how are you going to handle these?”
Minister JC Muyingo however told the Commission that muchas government allowed schools to reopen for candidate classes, it is not ready to help the parents in any way.
“Government has UPE and USE schools and it is going to pay for the examination fees of these children. We would also like to pay for these others in private schools but we will not be able because we do not have that money,” he said.
Muyingo also assured the non-candidate students who are not going back to school on October 15th that the government has already gotten money to procure radios which they will be using to learn in the meantime.
“Government allowed us to buy 9million radios that we will be serving to every homestead.”