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Moroto Schools Need Support to Provide Handwashing Facilities

Moroto district is planning for the reopening of 21 primary schools with candidate classes including one that is privately owned, five secondary schools and two tertiary institutions.

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Several schools in Moroto district may not have the capacity to provide handwashing facilities when schools reopen next week, due to limited funding.

Moroto district education officer Paul Okuta says that the schools are relying on capitation grants, sent from the government, which may not be enough to cover the cost of installing and maintaining   handwashing facilities in schools. Okuta said headteachers have also expressed concern over the cost of disinfecting classrooms and dormitories daily as guided by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Okuta  said the district authorities are still engaging the development partners to come to their rescue by providing jik, liquid soap and handwashing facilities.

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Moroto district is planning for the reopening of 21 primary schools with candidate classes including one that is privately owned, five secondary schools and two tertiary institutions. An inspection by the education department found that most  of them had enough facilities to ensure a two-meter physical distance, but many did not have provisions for handwashing.

Meanwhile, a section of parents is skeptical about the safety of their children in schools. One parent, a civil servant who requested not to be named to speak freely said he would not send his daughter, a finalist at Makerere University at a time when coronavirus rates are going up.

However, Okuta is encouraging parents to fully support their children adding that all schools in Moroto will operate boarding sections to reduce risk of contracting the virus.

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Currently, there is an ongoing assessment on the readiness of the schools based on 27 basic requirements and minimum standards set by the Ministry of Education and Sports. One of the requirements is that schools must have calibrated working temperature guns deployed at entry points and at the staff quarters.  

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