The Ministry of Education and Sports with support from Save the Children has launched a countrywide communications & media campaign to publicize the government announced dates for school re-opening and to impress the importance to caregivers of sending their children back to school.
In particular, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu the state Minister for Primary Education says the one-month campaign will target the return to school of the most vulnerable children, such as the disabled, and those that have begun work during the school closure. There will be messages on selected television and radio stations, posters and offline channels like community radios and caravans.
“Education is a critical protective force which brings dignity, hope and wellbeing to children, especially those affected by crises. We call all parents/caregivers to safely take back all children to school, and together let us work towards preventing future learning interruption and drop-out for the most vulnerable learners” she noted.
The minister told reporters at Uganda Media Centre that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis in education. From April to September 2020, cases of violence against children increased from 2,400 to 5,000 cases as reported by the National Child Help Line in Uganda.
This week, the government re-opened schools and learning after 2 years of closure.
Minister Kaducu says parents/ caregivers must take all children back to school. Find alternatives so that children who have been involved in work for pay can return to school and learning. No child should stay at home or running a business while others are in school, Parents or caregivers should also be involved in children's learning, supporting them to catch up.
Dr. Kaducu says teachers should help learners to catch up on lost time, urgently support vulnerable children to return and stay in school and learning, report any suspected cases of students with symptoms to the nearest health facility, and Provide counsel to students to help them resume school life
Government on the other hand, will ensure smooth transition of all children safely back to school, and prioritize the prevention of learning interruption and drop-out for the most vulnerable learners, employ remedial programmes such as Catch-Up Clubs to ensure that children can recover lost learning, and do not drop out of education altogether, implement the national guidelines on prevention of teenage pregnancies in schools, and provide guidelines and sensitization on various media platforms nationwide so that pregnant girls can be supported to resume school after delivery.