The Minister of Education and Sports Hon Janet Kataha Museveni on Friday said that the reopening of schools for learners across the country still hangs in the balance with Cabinet yet to decide on the issue.
While releasing the 2020 PLE results at State House Entebbe yesterday, Ms Museveni said: “I do not want to talk about something we are not confident about. The decision of closing or reopening schools is not made by my ministry alone. The decisions can only be made by the government after they have been discussed by Cabinet,” Ms Museveni said.
“It is premature to say we will open at this time. To me, I cannot say there is a time we shall open, but in the near future, we shall. We should all be patient,” she added.
Ms Museveni also faulted parents for the poor 2020 PLE performance in Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools, saying they absconded from playing roles in the education of their children.
She said unlike parents in urban areas who are playing a vital role in the education of their children, the parents in rural areas, whose children attend Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools, have neglected their roles and left everything to the government.
Ms Museveni urged the parents to up their game and play their part by participating in the education of their children.
“You cannot blame the Ministry of Education when it [PLE] is not done well. We have to share the blame. UPE and Universal Secondary Education are doing badly because we have no support from the families of these children,” Ms Museveni said.
“Education is a shared responsibility. Parents in rural areas leave their children to go to school on empty stomach yet parents in urban areas are putting a lot of effort in their children to ensure their children feed well and excel at school,” Ms Museveni added.
She said children in urban areas go to school early enough and spend a lot of time learning whereas those in rural areas walk very long distances to schools, reach school late, start studying late and go back home late.
Ms Museveni also said teachers in urban areas put in a lot to ensure their learners excel unlike the ones in rural areas who put in less.
But she was optimistic that in the near future, the Ministry will be there for the rural child.Just like in previous years, non-UPE schools outperformed UPE counterparts.
Ms Museveni also urged parents to embrace homeschooling for their kids in lower primary school.Learners in nursery, Primary One, Two and Three have never stepped foot in class since March last year when President Museveni announced the first lockdown.
Primary one to three learners were supposed to report back to School in May, but two days to the reporting date, President Museveni closed schools.
“I ask parents to homeschool their children. This should be considered as we work together with schools to reopen. We should not let our children waste a lot of time at home doing nothing,” Ms Museveni said.
“Some people have come up with means of teaching their learners even during the lockdown even in rural areas where teachers are teaching their students in small groups. We should come up with means of teaching these learners instead of pointing figures,” Ms Museveni said.