The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has advised the Covid 19, National Task Force, Ministry of education and Mr. Museveni to consider re-opening primary and secondary schools this year to enable students sit for promotional exams.
Schools can open as early as mid-October to complete this academic year’s syllabus and sit for promotional exams in mid-December.
Topics not handled during this Covid 19 education transition period, can then be carried forward.
“The FDC disagrees with Museveni’s school opening date of January 2022,” said the party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
He said the education sector has been disoriented by the lockdowns which require a transitional period to streamline it.
The proposal to study in shifts is not workable because of inadequate classrooms in both public and private schools.
The ratio of teacher to students also poses another headache. What the country needs to remember is that teachers are required not only to teach but to set tests and mark them periodically. This require a lot of time.
“Teachers cannot handle two classes created by the shifts proposed by the Ministry of education. We will end up with unassessed students.”
Nganda said there is absolutely no way schools will handle two senior ones, two senior fives, two primary ones etc.
Promotional exams must therefore be done this year to avoid a possible stampede at the resumption of schools in January.
To meet the challenges the lockdowns have imposed to the education sector, the country needs a full time minister who is ready to be in the field identifying problems and suggesting solutions.
“Museveni’s wife is busy and inaccessible to handle this crisis. If a ministerial appointment, is one of the marriage gifts, Mr. Museveni can give his wife a less demanding ministry such as ministry without portfolio.”
Already the government in its annual performance report, reveals that the set targets in education were not met.
The report discussed recently at a retreat at the Prime Minister’s office concluded that education service delivery is poor.
About 50% of UPE pupils still fail literacy after 6 years of schools.
“We must therefore not mess up with education. Messing up with education means dropping out. According to the government annual performance report, the number of children aged 5-17 who are engaged in child labour has increased from 27% to 28%.”
These figures are in the official government annual performance report and they are hiding them from the public.