Teachers, Parents Express Mixed Reactions to Education Response Plan

A cross-section of parents and teachers in Karamoja sub region have expressed mixed reactions to a proposal by the Education Ministry to use Radio and TV programmes to teach children during the current lockdown. 

A week ago, Education Minister Janet Museveni announced that the government was planning to send out a harmonized continuous learning programme for all primary and secondary school learners where selected teachers will use local radio’s and TVs to teach core basic concepts in what learners have already covered. This will be supplemented with printed material wherever possible. 

According to the minister, the sector response task force is working in consultation with the headteachers to select teachers to implement the non-contact education to mitigate the impact of coronavirus disease-COVID-19 on the country’s education system, following the closure of schools. Coronavirus has so far affected 1.3 million people across the world and 53 people in Uganda. 

However, a cross-section of the parents and teachers from the Karamoja think that the plan does not cater for the interests of learners from the region, where there is limited access to the platforms. Jordan Mukasa, one of the parents thinks that this is a disadvantage to those who have no access to television nor radio. 

Besides Mukasa says that the lessons on radios which are fairly accessible to a small population in Karamoja will not favour the teaching of science subjects that are more practical than theoretical. 

Moses Oryono Okot, a teacher in Nadunget Secondary School says that schools today are using a learner-centred approach that will be very difficult to implement on the radio. Okot further said that each of the schools has covered different topics and harmonizing lessons on radio and television will present a challenge. 

Joseph Longole, a student in a Nursing School in Mbale told URN that the initiative cannot benefit all students in the country equally. 

However, Fabinao Akol, an elder in Moroto town welcomes the initiative. 

At least 15, million children and students across the country were affected by the closure of the schools, according to the ministry.

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