Experts have called for psychosocial support to teachers, and students ahead of the planned school reopening in January 2022.
Primary and secondary Schools have been closed for close to six months as a measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country. However during his last address to the nation, president Museveni revealed that schools will be opened in January 2022.
Speaking at the launch of the Vine Toolbox by the Acts Fund, a Non Governmental Organisation, George Mutekanga the Assistant commissioner in charge of private school and institutions of higher learning at the Ministry of Education and Sports, said that many teachers, and learners, have silently been going through several psychosocial challenges ranging from mental, anxiety about the future and economic uncertainty.
Mutekanga revealed that the education ministry, and all stakeholders need to hear out the teachers and students but also provide them with counselling, financial support among others.
He noted that the education ministry is coming up with a strategy to ensure that they support these people mentally.
“We have learners who have lost their parents, guardians and sponsors and people who are going through a lot of hardship during this pandemic more especially teachers in private schools,” he said.
The Director Education and Social Services at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Juliet Namuddu Nambi said the idea of thinking about mental health before the reopening of schools is very important since many learners, teachers and parents have been greatly affected by the pandemic.
“Mental health is about your health. Children, teachers who are at home right now need support mentally because they miss their colleagues, they miss being in school,” she said.
The toolbox comprises three books that talk about the teachers, parents and learners in and out of Covid-19 as the nation prepares to resume schools in January.
Diane Kibuuka, the Director and founder of Acts Fund, said that they are running a rehabilitation campaign for teachers, parents and learners ahead of the school reopening.
Kibuuka said that they will create programs for children to address anxiety as the sudden change in their routine might affect them.
She believed that promoting mental health and preventing mental illnesses can improve productivity and lift communities out of poverty.
Enoch Kabuuye a co-director of ACTS Uganda, said that they’re targeting over 200 schools across the country with different life-changing and empowerment programs.