Parliament Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga has asked Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda to explain to the reopening of schools.
The speaker additionally, wants the education ministry to address Parliament on the same. This comes after continuous media reports that schools will reopen before the close of this month.
However, her directive follows concerns by Members of Parliament (MPs) that parents, students, teachers and school proprietors are confused regarding the reopening of schools.
The Parliament speaker’s questions;
“There is confusion and we want to know the Government’s position. What will happen to the gap created between other classes when we open schools?” Kenneth Lubogo (Bulamogi) asked.
He said with three months left to the end of the 2020 academic year, it is important for the Government to pronounce itself on the fate of the students.
The media has been awash with stories saying schools will reopen. Especially for candidates and university finalists, starting September 20.
However, recently, information and national guidance minister Judith Nabakooba disputed the information. She said schools would only reopen after communication by President Yoweri Museveni.
The head of state is set to address the nation on Saturday.
“As proprietors of schools, we are confused. The ministry told us to prepare for school inspection. The team that came advised us on what we needed to open. This we have done,” Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya) said.
Proposal to declare a dead year;
The MPs proposed that the Government declares a dead academic year, to avoid confusion.
Lubogo said: “We implore the Government to explain to the public what is happening. It should come out and declare a dead academic year. It is just three months to the end of the year.”
Secondly, the legislators appealed to the Government to waive examination fees for all candidate classes.
“Most of the businesses from which parents have been getting money to pay for school fees have not yet been opened. The Government can, however, help by footing examination and registration fees.” Paul Luttamaguzi (Nakaseke South) said.
State minister of tourism Godfrey Kiwanda, told the house that following a sitting on Monday (14 September 2020), Cabinet decided to set up a sub-cabinet committee meeting to deliberate on the issue of schools reopening, among other sectors that have remained under lockdown.
He, in addition, said the special cabinet committee was tasked to come up with a report. They will report to the President.
On the Prime Minister’s summoning;
It is at this point afterward that Kadaga directed the Prime Minister and education ministry to appear before the House.
“We ask the Prime Minister to come and explain to the country what is happening. We have not talked about many things. I received petitions from lecturers asking for relief.” Kadaga said.
The President, however, ordered the closure of schools, churches, mosques, and bars in March. These among other social gathering places, as one of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The MPs thirdly raised issues about the delayed disbursement of the sh20b that was released by the Government as relief funds for teachers in private schools, who have remained unemployed for the last six months.
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