The President of the Republic of Uganda Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has met teachers at State House Entebbe to commemorate World Teachers Day under the theme ‘Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future’.
The teachers who were led by the Minister of Education and First lady Janet Museveni thanked the President for spearheading the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic which led to the closure of schools in the country as part of the measures taken by the government to reduce the spread of the pandemic.
On 20th September 2020, President Museveni announced that schools will be opened for only candidate classes starting on 15th October 2020. The teachers welcomed this with excitement and promised the President that they will observe the Standard operating procedures in schools.
The first lady and Minister of Education thanked the teachers for the patience and discipline they have shown during the last 7 months of lockdown and asked for their cooperation as the schools re-open for candidate classes. She asked boarding schools to boost the diet for the children so that their bodies can be resistant to diseases.
President Museveni advised the teachers to include patriotism in their curriculum so as to enable the students to develop a love for their country. He said that they need to emancipate science innovations.
Museveni defended his decision to close schools during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and said that it was for the good of the teachers themselves and the innocent children.
‘We now think that it is safe to open only for the candidate classes because we don’t want them to miss a year. There’s no way we can handle two batches of candidates next year’
There are 1.2 million finalists in the country who are going back to school and because of social distancing, the space in schools will only be enough for candidate classes, and it’s easier for the teachers to effect the standard operating procedures when the students are few.
President Museveni appealed to the teachers of candidate classes to sleep at school so that they can reduce the risks of contracting COVID-19 which will put their students at risk. He urged school administrators to have first aid boxes in every dormitory and make use of health prefects to enforce Standard operating procedures and report any suspected cases.
He said that the country will continue with Long-distance education and the government is spending over 320 billion Ugandan shillings on buying radios to enable the children at home especially in rural areas to access teaching which is done in radio studios.
‘I really want to continue improving the salaries of teachers, health personnel, security people and the scientists’
He asked the teachers to continue reminding his cabinet on the issue of salary increment.
On the same occasion, he promised to give Uganda National Teachers Union – UNATU two vehicles to be delivered by next week
President Museveni ended the meeting with the teachers by congratulating them upon reaching this year’s World Teachers Day and going through the 7 months of lockdown.