Having been given a green light to open in phases by the President under the advice of the Ministry of Health, schools and other institutions of higher learning started reopening in October 2020 starting with candidate classes and finalists, later after the 2021 general elections in February other classes reported back.
However, it’s a hard experience for the school proprietors, staff, and students as highlighted below;
In a chat with some of the school proprietors and head teachers, it came to our notice that these are highly sunk in debts from both banks and money lenders who have since threatened to take over their properties having surpassed the payment dates in their loan agreements.
Some say these loans were acquired during the lockdown so as to sustain the staff to ensure the schools don’t lose them to other businesses while others say these loans were acquired in November and December 2019 with an aim of developing the school infrastructure in preparations for the then new admissions of 2020 in which they had hopes of collecting the money under the umbrella of development fee but this was not possible following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country that saw schools being closed on the 18th-March-2020 before all collections were made.
In addition, the school bosses highlight a challenge of fees collection which is all attributed to the lockdown which paralyzed all businesses where parents used to earn a living. For schools whose only income is from the fees collection, they say they sustaining a school in this time is a hard task. They further say, collections that were initially for one term is obtained in a year since classes repot back in phases after other classes have gotten holidays.
The staff to all institutions are lamenting about the reduced payments and the adoption of the peace rate mode of payment by schools which has greatly affected their income following the reduction in their allowances with an excuse that the schools collections per term are no longer enough to sustain their allowances that they initially enjoyed.
Having lost almost a year, students are bothered with the recent rumors and deliberations of the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine of enforcing a new lock down which may see schools again closing.
With the increase in the corona virus cases, and the outbreak of the second wave of the virus, students are already worried of the next course of action by the government in efforts to curb the fast spreading virus.
Some have already surrendered, that should the government impose a new lockdown then it should also be ready to register an over whelming number of school dropouts mostly by female students who might be having fast growing hormones that lead to fast growing body parts.
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This comes as some schools have started closing after confirmed cases, Greenhill Academy today 31st-May-2021 has been forced to send all students home up to 13th-June-2021 having confirmed a few cases. On the 27th-May-2021, Kyambogo University also testified how it had registered 6 cases from students and 2 from staff hence leading to suspension of lectures and introduction of the Online Distance E-Learning (ODEL) which the students protested citing insufficient facilities to favour all students across the university.
In his address on the 29th-May-2021, Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni the President of the Republic of Uganda stressed that should the public fail to observe the Standard Operating Procedures of social distance, wearing masks and other guidelines issued of the Ministry of Health, the government will be left with no alternative but rather to impose a new lock down in the three major affected districts of Wakiso, Mukono and Kampala.
He concluded my advising those in villages not to travel to the above mentioned cities and districts.