Pre-primary teachers under their umbrella, the National Private Educational Institutions Association are seeking audience with the Ministry of Education over the decision by the government to close pre-primary schools.
Last week, the Education Minister Janet Museveni said nursery schools handling children aged three to six will remain closed throughout the Covid-19 season. She explained that this particular age bracket doesn’t wear face masks and are at high risk of contracting respiratory infections like coronavirus.
Assad Kirabira, the Association Chairperson, says that they want to have a dialogue with the government to analyze and review the directive. He says that the decision by the government will affect the owners of nursery schools and kindergartens who had invested in the business.
According to Kirabira, the decision will also impact on the curriculum of nursery schools that was approved by the Ministry under the Early Childhood Development program.
He also notes that due to the continued closure of nursery schools and kindergartens, many illegal pre-primary schools will crop up in the community.
Richard Buhijiro, proprietor of Jengo pre-primary school says that the decision could put the future of teachers at stake. Buhijiro, who employs 10 teachers, says pre-primary schools should be allowed to open in a staggered manner like the rest of other classes. He adds that they are committed to putting in place the necessary Standard Operating Procedures- SOPs.
UNICEF recommends the use of creative informative practices to ensure playful learning experiences such as using imaginary play to help children cope with stress and promote resilience; using teachable moments to help children learn about the covid-19 pandemic and their role in ensuring public health.
It also recommends that parents help the children learn at home through everyday conversations, plays, games with numbers or letters, reading together with them and also involving them in the things parents do at home like household chores.