The Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni has outlined government’s program to ensure learning continues during the Covid-19 lockdown when learners are stuck at home.
Earlier this month, the Minister announced a tentative program which would see Schools (Secondary and Primary) resume their Term One studies on April 27.
The same program had also set June 22 as opening date for Second Term and September 21 for Third Term.
Universities and Tertiary Institutions including Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) institutions would resume the Semester on the May 2.
The program had been designed under the assumption that the month-long closure of schools and the 14-day nation lockdown would not be extended.
However, last week, President Museveni extended the lockdown by another three weeks.
On Monday, the Education Minister said the schools’ reopening as earlier announced “will not be possible under the current circumstances”.
She says that under the circumstances, learning must continue beyond the classroom space.
“Under the current conditions of lockdown, the greatest contributors are parents. I therefore reiterate my appeal to the parents and relatives to support the learning by engaging learners in their home activities like life skills – cooking, cleaning, gardening business, art, looking after animals, music, sports and physical activities,” Janet Museveni said.
She also urged parents to help learners in craft-work and developing innovations that will be important at school.
The Minister says the Ministry has developed a framework for continuity and also identified basic competencies for concepts of study.
“We have harmonized learning materials to use in continuity while learners are at home for effective learning, and prepared guidelines for local governments to ensure continuity of learning”.
For the pre-primary and lower primary (P1 to P3), she said learning must be home-based, urging parents to allow these children to enjoy their childhood.
She says for this category, learning can be achieved through songs, riddles, listening, writing and reading in local languages and English
She revealed that a program has been designed for learners (P1 to P7 and Secondary) to learn through TVs and radios and that this started on Monday.
“These lessons will cover basic concepts that learners at various levels have already covered. The purpose of this is consolidation of lessons already learnt as a basis for further learning when school reopen”.
In addition, learners will also access pre-recorded lessons while others will get materials online.
Self-study print materials for P1 to P7 have also been developed and they will be distributed through district leadership led by RDCs and CAOs.
These will distribute the materials to the Sub-county chiefs who will then pass them on to the Parish chiefs who will use LC1 Chairpersons to distribute the materials to individual homes.
“This is a system I believe can work especially where the leaders are active and can monitor progress and it can go down right to the homes. So children don’t run around to the districts looking for the materials”.
She said these materials will be a great resource to the learners even after the lockdown. She said Sub-county chiefs have already been facilitated under the programs of Covid 19.
In the case of tertiary institutions and university students, learners gave been asked to engage in wide reading on various subjects – economics, social systems, innovations – to widen their knowledge base.
She appealed to the them to use the internet since they have their course outlines.