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Uganda reopens schools despite virus fears

Many parents oppose decision but officials insist measures taken for safety of students, teachers

Hamza Kyeyune   | 15.10.2020
Uganda reopens schools despite virus fears

KAMPALA, Uganda

Despite rising coronavirus infections across the country, schools in Uganda reopened on Thursday after a seven-month break.

The government has allowed schools to resume finalist and candidate classes for now, with no date announced yet for the return of other students.

Schools were ordered to ensure COVID-19 safety measures before reopening, including handwashing facilities, temperature guns, and availability of face masks.

Some institutions that failed to meet requirements will remain closed, according to the Education Ministry.

Many parents are said to be against the decision to reopen schools, saying they can prove unsafe as virus cases have spiked in Uganda over recent weeks to reach 10,069, including 95 deaths and 6,531 recoveries.

However, officials say there is nothing to worry about as long as standard operating procedures (SOPs) are followed.

Kaganda Latif, an education officer in the western Sheema district, said schools will be safe for teachers and students with proper sanitization measures.

Abdallah Mbuga, a head teacher at a secondary school in the same district, said his school has implemented all necessary measures and acquired a certificate of compliance.

“We are fully prepared to receive students. We simply ask parents to also follow the SOPs and pay their dues,” he said.

Over in the northern Lira district, education official Patrick Olwit Ogwang said many school compounds had become grazing grounds during the lockdown.

He said there was also termite infestation in many schools that was cleared to prepare for their reopening.

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