Education Ministry says no date has been set for re-opening of schools as MPs question readiness of gov’t

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No date has been set yet: Hon. Rosemary Seninde; Parliament Photo

The Minister of State for Education and Sports Hon Rosemary Seninde has said the ministry is yet to come up with a conclusive policy document that will guide the process to have schools re-open after months of closure due to COVID-19.

Hon. Seninde was responding to a matter in parliament as legislators demanded for clarity as to when schools will re-open amidst fears that government may not be ready to accommodate such an undertaking.

During a plenary session today, MPs raised concerns over reports that the education ministry had set 8th June 2020, as the date for school re-opening, yet signs show that what needs to be done may not be accomplished in the remaining two weeks.

Legislators also asked why the MOE&S set the date for school re-opening without presenting a formal statement to parliament.

Hon Seninde informed the house that MOE&S is still engaging government on the best way forward in preparation for re-opening but no date has been set in that regard. She also said no communication has been made by the ministry in regard to the matter.

“Rt. Hon. Speaker, it is true there has been something running on social media as a circular, but I want to make it clear to this house that as a ministry, we have not yet distributed a circular to that effect” Seninde said.

“We have not made a statement as Ministry of Education that students are starting on the 8th. We know that parliamentarians are key stakeholders in the education of our children and we shall definitely involve them Madam Speaker” she added.

Last week, a document went viral on social media indicating that the ministry had set 8th June as date for school re-opening.

Legislators demanded for assurance on government’s readiness citing fears in members of the public that students may be exposed to COVID-19 infection if the process is hurried.

Busia Municipality MP, Hon. Godfrey Macho said schools in his constituency are still being used by government as quarantine centers housing COVID-19 patients, and parents are reluctant to send children to such schools.

Bugabula County MP, Hon. Henry Maurice Kibalya said some schools lack adequate facilities like classrooms which will not allow school administrators to ensure social distancing guidelines.

Kampala Central MP, Hon. Nsereko Muhamad raised concerns over parents’ capacity to meet school requirements like exam registration fees yet they have been not earning.

“I would like to pledge to this house that next week on Tuesday, we will inform this house as a ministry we are not sitting back. We are trying to discuss this with government to see what can be done.” Seninde said.

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