Janet K. Museveni (pictured), First Lady of Uganda & Minister of Education and Sports has urged parents to teach their children life skills during this period of lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Addressing the nation yesterday Monday April 20, 2020, y on the Uganda Education and Sports Sector preparedness and response to the COVID 19 pandemic and its effects, Janet said the reopening of schools will schools and institutions will be guided by the National Taskforce on COVID – 19.
She added that in the present circumstances, schools and institutions won’t reopen on 27th April 2020 and 2nd May 2020 respectively as earlier communicated.
“…In the present circumstances of total lockdown, the greatest contributors to learning are the parents and immediate family members,” Janet said, adding: “I therefore reiterate my appeal to parents and families, to help learning take place by involving the learners in their home activities to give them skills for life such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, looking after animals, business, Art, music, physical activity, play and sports and many others. Spend time with your learners to develop their values and positive attitudes. Tell them stories, riddles and other life lessons and support their learning. Help your learners to make a craft or develop an innovation which will be required at school at the re-opening.
Counsel, guide and encourage children to wait for the re-opening of schools with enthusiasm and zeal.”
The First Lady added that her Ministry has produced a framework to guide the process of continuity of learning.
“We have also identified the basic competences / concepts to study, harmonized learning packages/materials for use in the continuity of learning while learners are at home, and prepared Guidelines for LG to ensure effective learning. These will be delivered on Radios and Televisions and will mainly focus on P.1 to P.7 and Secondary level. The learning by Radios and TVs have started today, Monday 20th April 2020.
As I said before, these lessons will address basic concepts which learners at various levels have already covered. The purpose of this to ensure consolidation of concepts already learnt as a basis for further learning when schools open. In addition, learners will access pre-recorded lessons and other learners will access materials on line,” she said.
She revealed that self-study print materials for P1 to P7 have also been developed and will be distributed to learners.
“The Ministry will hand the materials to the District leadership led by the RDC and CAO. These will distribute to the Sub-county chiefs who in turn will hand them to the Parish Chiefs. The Parish Chiefs will use the LC1 to hand them to the homes. Proper records shall be kept at every level. These materials will be a great resource to our learners even after the lockdown.
The continuation of the systematic curriculum coverage will take place at school after the re-opening,” she said.
With regard to the learning for Pre-Primary (ECD) and Lower Primary (P.1-P.3), she said this will mainly be home based.
“Allow these young children to enjoy their childhood by teaching them through play, songs riddles, counting, listening, speaking and writing in both local languages and English,” she said.
She added that learners in TVET Institutions, Tertiary Institutions and Universities should engage in wide reading on various subjects including economics (Global and National) Social System, Health Inventions and Innovations. This will widen their knowledge base.
“As I mentioned before, these students should also read around their courses/modules on their current semester using every possible means especially the internet since they already have their course outlines.
However, National Council for Higher Education will work with Universities to ensure continuity of learning,” Janet said.
She added: “All Teachers, Instructors and Lecturers should effectively prepare for ALLthe lessons/lectures for the current term/semester to redeem the time when schools/institutions re-open. Head teachers and heads of Institutions are hereby instructed to give the teachers the necessary assistance for this preparation.”
She revealed that even after the lockdown has been lifted, the education Institutions will need to be prepared for resumption of learning.
“In this regard, the Ministry plans to strengthen the program of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Psycho-social support, safety and security of learners and coordination with various stakeholders. Working with Ministry of Health, we shall issue Standard Operating Procedures to education Institutions to ensure safety of learners and teachers,” she said.