Dr Ekwaro Obuku, a Health Policy Expert said there’s no equity in the options that the government proposed, yet even in schools that embarked on distance learning, learners still needed the support of parents. As a result, many schools have now abandoned e-learning because the investment in infrastructure to run such programmes is high.
Educational experts have said that schools cannot respect the Ministry of
Health instituted Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to slow the spread of COVID-19
even as they all agree that continued closure could undo gains made in
Filbert Baguma, the Secretary-General of the teachers’ union-UNATU said teachers are in a dilemma with the reality that applying social
distancing alone is impossible as this will not only require more
infrastructure in terms of classrooms but also more teachers.
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As he is saying this, the Ministry of Health has dispatched
teams to consult with District Education Officers (DEOs) to assess the status
of schools and discuss strategies for safe opening. In addition to
these, researchers at the Makerere University School of Education have also
embarked on a study to examine interventions that will help students study
without having to converge.
But, experts who were
attending a meeting to discuss educational leadership and management said e-learning,
printed reading materials and instruction over the radio as were promoted as
alternatives were not well thought out, are not equitable and a waste of
Baguma gave radio instruction as an example of a failed
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Dr Ekwaro Obuku, a Health Policy Expert said
there’s no equity in the options that the government proposed, yet even in
schools that embarked on distance learning, learners still needed the support of
parents. As a result, many schools have now abandoned e-learning because the
investment in infrastructure to run such programmes is high.
//Cue in; “I have just finished…
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He said Agha khan, one of the high end schools in the country
couldn’t sustain their online programmes and it stops this week.
//Cue in; “Aghakan has had…
Cue out…. Go and dig”. //
For Baguma, e-learning can only be possible if there is the
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Meanwhile, elsewhere, schools started reopening slowly, some
in a phased manner as early as June with piling concerns of closures doing more
harm than good to a group that scientists have found at a lower risk of getting
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for instance has
since been warning that continued closure of schools risks many not returning forever
with reports of increased teenage pregnancies and violence. The organization has highlighted six key dimensions to
consider when planning for re-opening which include policy, financing, safe
operations, learning, reaching the most marginalized and wellbeing or
protection of those involved including learners and their teachers.