KABALE– There has been an average turn up of learners in schools as they re-opened for the new academic term, after closure for close to two years to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In some of the schools visited by our reporter, they had at least 50 percent turnout of learners and adherence to Standing Operating procedures (SOPs) was also being emphasized in some schools, though some were not enforcing the SOPs at the school gates.
At Bugwaza primary school in Hamurwa Sub County, Rubanda district, 69 pupils out of the total enrollment of 350 it had before the closure of the learning institutions in 2020 reported on Monday. The school head teacher, Sofia Ariho, told our reporter that most parents are still struggling to buy the required items which include; books, pens and face masks for their children.
At Kishaki primary school in Rubanda town council, more than 400 pupils only from primary one to primary four reported for the new term. The school head teacher Anthony Musasizi said that they have decided to open classes in shifts due to the high enrollment of the pupils. He said before the schools closed, it had 1135 pupils. He said that 95 percent of the teachers reported yesterday.
At Nyabitabo primary school in Kaharo sub county of Kabale district, the school head teacher Drake Kisheija, said that 65 pupils reported today for new term out of the over 200 pupils it had before the closure of schools.
Kisheija said that they expect the numbers to increase by Friday or next week. At Lower Bugongi primary school in Northern division, Kabale Municipality at around 09:AM, the school head teacher Justine Mugabiirwe saids that a total of only 34 pupils had turned up. Five teachers out of eight had reported. Before schools’ closure, Lower Bugongi primary school had an enrolment of 155 pupils.
CUE IN…MUGABIIRWE ON TURNUP RR/ENG
In secondary schools, our reporter visited Kabale Brainstorm High School and St. Mary’s College Rushoroza and found that over 500 students had reported at each of the schools by 2:00pm.
Our reporter also observed that there were security officers, nurses and teachers enforcing the covid-19 guidelines at the entrance gates of the schools such as sanitizing hands, measuring temperatures and recording all people entering the school.
The head teacher of Kabale Brainstorm High School, Bernard Bikogomuhangi and the deputy head teacher academic of St. Mary’s College Rushoroza, Alex Turinawe said that they will continue to encourage the students to observe the SOPs.
At Nyabikoni Senior Secondary School, there was a security officer measuring temperature and recording the identities of every person entering the school, but there was no one to enforce compulsory wash of hands at the school gate.
The school head teacher, Elly Turyasiima said that they will try to enforce the covid-19 guidelines.
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In Kisoro district, Bigira Charles the head teacher of Gisorora primary school said that 170 pupils have reported at school and they have started studies.
Niyibizi Lauben, the deputy head teacher Kisoro Hill primary said that eight pupils have reported at school. At Suma primary school in Nkuringo town council, less than 50 pupils were seen at the school at around 12:00pm. At Chuho primary school 60 pupils reported yesterday.
Meanwhile, traders and their customers operating in Mwanjari market, Kabale Garage Street Market and supermarkets that include Active Super Market, Royal Super Market and Cash and Carry Market have today abandoned the Standard Operating Procedures- SOPs put in place by the government to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as schools re-opened.
Our reporter observed that markets and supermarkets had hand washing
facilities but no one was there to enforce hand washing. Several people easily accessed the supermarket buildings and super markets without washing their hands or sanitizing their hands. The attendants in the super markets declined to speak to our reporter.