Breaking

Gulu Schools Struggle to Enforce Covid-19 SOPs

Grace Lamunu, another student of Gulu Army Secondary School, a day school says students are not bothered by SOPs and mix up freely with the hope that COVID-19 threats have been eliminated through the discovery of the vaccine.
18 Mar 2021 10:49
Students of Gulu College School gather in clusters visitbly without face masks - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 2

Schools in Gulu City especially are struggling to enforce strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) against Coronavirus Disease – COVID-19, two weeks after they resumed operations.

There are at least 200 education institutions of learning in Gulu. The Ministry of Education allowed the phased opening of schools to non-candidate classes in both Primary and Secondary Schools including Universities and Tertiary institutions of learning across the country but under strict observance of SOPs.

Among the stringent measures includes the wearing of face masks; social distancing rules, hand washing facilities or use of hand sanitiser.

However, at some of the schools visited by URN reporter, there was non-adherence to the SOPs.

Several learners including teachers in both private and government-aided institutions were neither wearing masks nor observing social distancing.

Alfred Oketch, a student of Gulu Central High School says that COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

Grace Lamunu, another student of Gulu Army Secondary School, a day school says students are not bothered by SOPs and mix up freely with the hope that COVID-19 threats have been eliminated through the discovery of the vaccine.

Moses Kidega Oola, the Deputy Headteacher of Gulu College School explains that they are doing everything as required to control the students but decried limited space at the college and an overwhelming number of students.

// Cue in: “This year the… 

Cue out …to another site.”//

Gulu Senior Secondary School is among the schools visibly enforcing strict adherence to the SOPs.

Irene Mwaka, the Headteacher of the school says they strictly enforce the mandatory wearing of face masks and use thermometer guns and handwashing facilities.

// Cue in: “The starting point… 

Cue out …as per the SOPs.”//

Gulu has been the epitome of COVID-19 infections that resulted in the death of 42 people between May last year and February this year according to the District Health Department. Of those, seven died from Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, 27 from St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor and 12 were repatriated from Kampala.

Overall, Gulu has recorded over 1,673 COVID-19 cases with 900 community infections over the same period. However, the laxity and flouting of SOPs in public offices and places such as markets, bars and restaurants continue to worry authorities.