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Massive education is needed to prepare children and parents for the reopen of schools

By Gorret Kajumba

As the country nears the reopening of Schools in January 2022, leaders, parents and guardians in Kabarole district have expressed fears that some of the school going students might not think of going back to school.

Schools will officially re-open for all classes on January 10, 2021, according to the schools and other institutions calendar that was officially released on December 15th by Education and Sports Minister Janet Museveni.

The new calendar covers all primary, secondary technical and community polytechnics, many of which have been closed for more than a year.

Schools in Uganda have remained closed for over 80 weeks, the longest school closure recorded across the world. But last week, Mrs Museveni announced that the closure, which started on March 20, 2020, was ending and all learners would report back at once.

Now in Kabarole district, fears has engulfed educationists and parents after reports emerged that some of the students and puipils threatened not to go back to school after some of them claimed that they have grown and others (girls) were impregnated, and fear to be laughed at. It is reported that another big section of students and pupils joined the business sector which seems to be working for them very well hence reducing their desire for education.

In a community meeting held on Wednesday at Kaboyo Secondary School in Kiseru ward, Mugusu town council in Kabarole district, parents and leaders said that most of the school going children ventured into business and they have since established the value of money and so it would be hard for them to think of ‘going back to school and concentrate on their sturdies.

Muhumuza Patrick, Mugisa james, Katuramu Denesi, Aliganyira Moses, Muhumuza Christopher and many others all local leaders in Mugusu town council said that their fear is on pregnant girls and other Children who have grown up but still in lower classes.

They called upon government and other stakeholders to lay down strategies and ways of giving career guidance and counseling programs to the affected persons (School going Children) if they must change their mindsets towards education. This should be done before schools reopen in January, “they assert.” They also emphasized that even after the reopening of schools, there should be thorough monitoring of learners.

Edward Baguma Rwaheru, the Mugusu Town Council speaker revealed that as leaders they would start engaging parents through sensitization meetings to encourage them to support their children despite the situation around them.

However, Nongovernmental organizations and Civil society organizations under their umbrella Kabarole NGOs and CBOs association [KANCA] realized a need of massive sensitization as one way of preparing stakeholders, parents, leaders and children for the reopening of schools come 10th/January/2022

Mr. Edward Itoote the executive director KANCA appealed to parents to support their children whether pregnant or not for the betterment of their future. Edward also encouraged them to always cooperate with their leaders and school administrators. He also sounded need for the parents, to possible change the learning environment of their daughters who have been impregnated during lockdown to prevent them from stigma that may end up driving them out of schools or even force them not to go back to school.

However, the secretary for education and finance Kabarole district who is the female councilor representing Kicwamba sub county in Kabarole district said that as government has allowed pregnant children to go back to school, parents should also joins hands to support their children and as leaders they are going to continue sensitizing the public on the importance of educating a girl child.

She said that a big responsibility of educating children lies in the hands of parents.

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