Uganda, Kampala: Geofrey Nsubuga, 39, social worker

A population of over 600M worldwide is still within the education system. In Uganda, the education sector estimates over 15 million students in primary, secondary and higher institutions of learning. Unfortunately, all have been shut down due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Communities have come up with different ways of passing on knowledge to students. Uganda has for the

first time strongly recommended e-learning by use of televisions, radios, community loudspeakers and internet. Schoolwork has increasingly been shared through the various social media platforms like  WhatsApp, and school links to parents. This new development in learning has left out the majority of the parents and students in Uganda given that it is new, expensive and time-intensive. Uganda has a significant illiteracy rate so some parents are not in a position to aid their children through the learning… It is important to note that majority of Ugandans do not even own radios and Television sets. Poor internet and signal connection prove another obstacle to this new education development. Education has then been left to those who have access to the new methods of learning.

On the other side, are teachers who ran out of school for their lives on the day they knew about the pandemic and currently in a lockdown waiting to be called back for duties. The question is, are they ready to handle students who have gone through this kind of situation? Ugandan teachers have for a long time battled with vulnerable students affected by domestic violence, child labour and HIV/AIDS. But a lockdown situation has not been a case for this generation. There is a likelihood of increasing stress levels among the students.

Another question at hand is whether the current curriculum is yet to have an inclusion on COVID-19 as one of the killer diseases, the method of transmission, prevention and treatment. Important is also the fact that there is still limited information in the public on COVID -19. Above all accurate information, flow is also limited.

The school are also building closed for weeks. Are they ready to handle the new prevention challenge? It is important to assess the readiness schools, institutions and the Ministry of Education in handling the pandemic before they open up.

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