April 13, 2021


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Schools release learners for holidays with a safety precaution

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Pupils in classrooms wearing face masks

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | A cross-section of Schools has expressed fear about the safety of the learners as they return home today, ending the second term of school amidst an escalation of COVID-19 cases in the country. The learners in candidate classes will stay home for one month, before returning to school for the third term which starts on January 18. 

But their teachers are worried that a number of learners are at risk of getting exposed to COVID-19  from within the communities if parents do not take extra precaution, to ensure that the children are safe. The precautions include limiting unnecessary movement,  joining crowds, frequently washing hands, sanitising and wearing a face mask. 

According to research, the COVID-19 infection is transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets expelled from the nose or mouth when a person coughs or sneezes. Characterised by moderate to severe respiratory infection, accompanied by fever, coughing and breathing difficulties, the disease can  be controlled by keeping a a distance of more than two meters from a sick person and to respect basic hygiene measures.

Uganda has so far recorded 28,733 cases of COVID-19 and 225 deaths.  However, the country has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks, registering as many as a thousand cases in just a day, and hundreds of others on other days.  Slightly above 10,000 of the said cases have recovered, while others remain in hospitals and homes, where they are receiving treatment.

Joseph Okedi, the Director of Studies at  St Peters Nsambya Primary School says that parents have a responsibility to deal with the general safety of their children as they return home and ensure that they stay safe, during the holiday.

Buganda Road Primary school headteacher David Ssengendo fears that often, parents neglect their responsibility and concentrate on their jobs leaving the children exposed while in the communities. He says that schools have played the part by keeping candidates safe over the last two months, a trend which should not be broken by the school break.

Sam Mugalama, the deputy headteacher in charge of academics at Railway Children Primary School explains that their children come from the slum areas around Nsambya and spend most of their time loitering around the community while others support their parents to earn an income from the streets of Kampala, which is a great risk for them.

Some schools had earlier proposed that candidates be left at school for safety purposes after reports that the community COVID-19 cases were increasing.         



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