Ministry officials worried about mental state of learners

Ministry officials worried about mental state of learners
Ministry officials worried about mental state of learners

Africa-PressUganda. As days draw closer for the anticipated reopening of schools, the education ministry officials are worried about the mental and well-being of the learners who have been out of school for two years due to Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Dr Cleophus Mugenyi, the Commissioner Basic Education at the ministry, said much as there is a general feeling of joy and anxiety for the anticipated reopening of schools, many challenges await them.

“The reopening of schools in this country has become like the second coming of Jesus Christ. Yes because the Bible says nobody knows the hour. In spite of that, we want to believe that schools will reopen next year. But as they reopen, we have challenges of what kind of children are going to report to school,” Dr Mugenyi said earlier today during a breakfast meeting to launch a three-months media campaign against violence against children organised by Raising Voices.

He continued: “We are going to receive children who are emotionally hurt, pregnant young girls, those with mental health problems, children who have lost interest in learning and children who are being forced to go back to school. Whereas everybody is enthusiastic about the reopening of schools, the reopening will not be as simple as we think.”

On the part of the teachers who have also stayed away from class rooms for the last two years, Dr Mugenyi said as the ministry, they are in preparations of having the teachers get the mood of returning to the classrooms again.

“We at ministry of Education and Sports, we are trying to prepare the teachers who haven’t been in classroom for the last close to two years. You find some have completely switched off their minds to teach, some, their minds are elsewhere with a big number of them not going to return because they have found better opportunities.” he said.

President Museveni while announcing the reopening of schools on September 22, said tertiary institutions will open on November 1 this year while other learning institutions will reopen in January next year.

This he said would reopen after 4.8 million people who fall under the vulnerable category, have been vaccinated.

However, recently, the President said the reopening of schools in January, will now be dependent on the vaccination of seven million people.

Mr Museveni ordered the closure of schools in March last year as one of the measures to curb on the spread of Covid-19.

Along the way, candidate classes were reopened to complete the syllabus and also sit for their final 2020 exams.

The phased reopening of the schools continued with semi candidate classes resuming though around mid this year, the same were closed after like one month following the surge in the infections in the second wave.

Also during today’s function, Mr Hassan Mukisi, an official from Raising Voices, said the three-month media campaign will see them encourage everyone to build respectively and non-violent relationships with children who still remain barred at home.

He explained that the media campaign will be conducted countrywide on selected 17 radio stations and television stations.

The media campaign will run under the theme: “In This Time of Covid-19, What is Your Promise to The Children of Uganda?”.

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