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Parents Blamed for Frustrating Enforcement of COVID-19 SOPs in Gov't Schools

David Kagimu, a teacher at Kajuna Church of Uganda Primary School says that despite the underlying COVID-19 threat, parents have failed to provide facemasks to their children as they go to school; frustrating the overall enforcement of COVID-19 prevention interventions. He says that it is difficult to enforce the guidelines without support from parents.

Audio 4

Teachers in government schools in Masaka district have blamed parents for frustrating the effective enforcement of COVID-19 prevention measures among learners. 

Prior to the resumption of schools, the Ministry of Education issued guidelines to headteachers to ensure strict observance of Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs that include handwashing, wearing of facemasks and maintaining physical distancing between learners, among others, as a way of controlling the possible spread of COVID-19.

But teachers in government primary schools especially in the rural areas of Masaka are failing to enforce the guidelines as the majority of the learners are reporting without facemasks. 

David Kagimu, a teacher at Kajuna Church of Uganda Primary School says that despite the underlying COVID-19 threat, parents have failed to provide facemasks to their children as they go to school; frustrating the overall enforcement of COVID-19 prevention interventions. He says that it is difficult to enforce the guidelines without support from parents.

According to him, the parents have generally become so reluctant to willfully support the enforcement of SOPs in schools, calling upon the government to consider distributing free facemasks to learners as a practical approach to ensuring total compliance to safety guidelines.

//Cue in; “kati okusinziira…

Cue out….enkyukakyuka.”// 

Ruth Nakiganda, the school headteacher says that several parents in the rural areas are generally failing to meet their obligations of providing school requirements to their learners, giving excuses of COVID-19 induced financial constraints. She argues that given the current turn-up which is still low, they are finding it difficult to send back learners without facemasks; fearing that it may instead become an excuse for them to stay away from school. 

//Cue in; “okusinziira ku bayizi…  

Cue out…bazigula kasoobo.”//

Francis Mugerwa, a teacher at Kiyumba Primary School located in Mukungwe Sub-county says that a very small percentage of their learners is putting on facemasks because parents do not consider them a priority requirement. He says they have repeatedly sent out reminders for the facemask to parents, but these have remained reluctant, which now requires government to directly provide the facemasks if it is to strictly enforce their usage.   

Mathew Bayita, the Headteacher at St Immaculate Kajuna Primary school argues that the teachers are playing their role of ensuring the availability of handwashing facilities and temperature monitors, but their efforts are being frustrated by the complacency of the community towards the Covid-19 disease and prevention.   

//Cue in; "basically the parents….   

Cue out….with the situation.”//  

Luganda//Cue in; “ekya masks…

Cue out….nga bakikolako.”// 

Moses Muliisa, the Management Committee Chair of Mpugwe Primary School in Masaka says they are now engaging Village Health Teams and village council chairpersons to reawaken parents to fulfill their responsibilities. “We are not convinced that parents can fail to provide these requirements, what we are noticing is deliberate laxity in our communities that we need address collectively,” he observed.     

Gerald Nsambu, the Masaka District Inspector of Schools has cautioned parents against their reluctance to provide the necessary requirements for their children, warning that schools may be prompted to send them back home.                  

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