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ANT adds to voices asking gov’t to reopen schools

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ANT adds to voices asking gov’t to reopen schools

ANT leadership including Alice Alaso in the middle addressing a press conference

The Alliance for National Transformation party (ANT) has called upon the government to speed up the process of reopening schools.

Alice Alaso, the ANT Secretary General accused the government of failure to have a plan, before, during and after the lockdown that gives the education system a sense of clarity on reopening of schools.

“Rescue the school going children from an impending human resource destruction. Re-open learning institutions in a cost effective and almost no additional cost,” she said while addressing press at ANT offices in Kampala.

President Museveni while delivering his televised COVID-19 address recently said that schools will not reopen until at least 50 % of all teachers and students aged 12 and 18 years are vaccinated.

Alaso noted that ANT had rolled out numerous advices to government, which they can adopt to rescue the sinking education system.

“For example let them ensure comprehensive syllabus coverage within the specified and available time, tap into community resources for learning during the pandemic, unclog the education pipeline and introduce innovative and simple approaches to education during Covid19,” she said.

ANT’s call come hot on the heals of a more scathing criticism from the Forum for Democratic Change which viciously criticised the government for committing a the biggest mistake to close schools.

Alaso said that teaching and learning have an age factor in the formative stages. To waste that age bracket is to lose that generation for good. Continued closure of schools portends a loss of an entire generation

“Concerning Covid-19, children are not the most affected age group locally and internationally. {For example, in the USA 1.3% of children with a known case of COVID-19 have been hospitalized and 0.01% have died.},”

Tertiary and University learners, she said are adults who can follow SOPs.

“Whether institutions are open or not they are out in the public already interacting with the world. The proposal to wait until all children are vaccinated is farfetched and diversionary, largely owing to vaccine unavailability and specific vaccine development for children. If medical workers have not been fully vaccinated up to now, how can anyone imagine that our children will get the vaccine in time, without losing irredeemable school time? she asked.

“Now is a good time for medical students at all levels and all science students at all levels to be learning how to fight pandemics and not be hiding from it,” she added.

“Lastly, this proposal is urgent and comes in good faith. We urge Government also to call for position papers from experts to help in the reopening of schools. Time is of the essence,” she said.

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