IT IS FOR THE RICH: PARENTS, ACTIVISTS CRITICISE JANET MUSEVENI’S IDEA OF TEACHING STUDENTS ON TV, RADIOS
By Grant Ahumuza
Parents and Activists in Kabale district have criticized the Preparedness and Response Plan by the Ministry of Education in the following closure of schools saying that it is applicable to learners from urban areas and rich families.
Education Minister Janet Museveni on Monday evening extended the scheduled opening date of primary, secondary schools and Universities. The development followed the extension of the lock down in the fight against the spread of the Corona virus (COVID -19).
She said that the ministry has since developed a Preparedness and Response Plan to enable the continuity of learning during the lockdown. According to the new plan, learners will be taught on radio and TV.
However, several parents and activists in Kabale district say that the Ministryâ€™s Preparedness and Response Plan seems to be good to learners in urban areas and well off families leaving out those in rural areas.
Orikurungi Benjamin a resident of Rushaki Cell southern division Kabale municiplaity explains that learners are currently active in gardens with parents and itâ€™s difficult to give them free time to follow the teaching on radio stations.
Benjamin added that even those who allow the children to listen in are constrained over high costs of battery cells in this pandemic season.
Tindyebwa Joseph a resident of Rubanda district who is also the FDC Deputy National Secretary General in Charge of Policy and Research says last week the Ministry promised to distribute reading materials to parents through parish chiefs but wonders when and how this will be done yet many donâ€™t have means of transport.
Tindyebwa appeals to the ministry of education to at least purchase past papers and text books then give them to LC1 Chairpersons through district covid 19 task force rather than wasting money on radios and televisions which are listened to by the well off families
Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda , the Kitanga parish priest who is also the proprietor of St. Cleria School says most of parents doesnâ€™t have a radio or Television and thinks the plan wonâ€™t benefit majority of parents.
He adds that this is just time and peoplesâ€™ tax wastage through this program beacuse it will only benefit the rich.
But Byamukama Simon the executive director Let Us Save Uganda Development initiative (LUSUDI), a non- governmental based in Kabale says that the system would be better when its implemented well but government still needs to sensitize the public on how to apply it to benefit both learners in rural and urban areas.
When contacted on the matter, Filbert Baguma, the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) general secretary told our reporter that the Ministry should also consider the special needs, for example those with hearing impairment because even if you talk on radio, they will not hear and those with sight problems because they will not be able to see what you are demonstrating.
He added that If the ministry donâ€™t address this, it will create a gap between those who canâ€™t afford this new technology hence becoming wastage of resources.