URN.Mukono District Education Officer Rashid Kikomeko has directed all schools intending to operate both day and boarding sections to apply for compliance certificates. Those that will not have the certificates risk closure immediately after their re-opening.
Kikomeko says that school inspections undertaken by the district authorities at the end of last year established that many schools within their jurisdiction did not have the capacity to operate both day and boarding sections. As a result, his office advised schools to apply for compliance certificates, which would be issued after a final inspection.
But the schools did not respond to the call, according to Kikomeko, yet, many of them are preparing to receive learners next week when educational institutions are set to reopen after close to two years of inactivity.
He says that compliance certificates are only issued to those that have put in place more than 60 per cent of the requirements in line with the standard operating procedures established to fight against COVID-19. These include handwashing facilities, enough space for the learners to maintain a social distance, adequate beds spaced two metres apart, restricted access of visitors, a sickbay, an isolation centre and adequate toilet facilities.
Although some of the schools are still undecided on whether to operate as day or boarding sections, most of the schools in the town setting have decided to operate as boarding while those in the rural area have chosen to operate as day schools.
The Deputy Head Teacher of Kisowera Secondary School, Harriet Nanvule says that although they have not yet officially applied for the compliance certificate, they have set up all that is required and are ready to run both sections.
Efrance Nakisozi, the Deputy Head Teacher of Kisowera Primary School says they have chosen to consider operating only day section for the start as they study the situation to see whether they can resume the boarding section as well.
Joseph Kamya, the Head Teacher at St Cyprian High School Kyabakadde advises headteachers and directors especially for private schools to offer service above benefits regardless of the financial crisis encountered during recess.
Meanwhile, Kikomeko insists that regardless of their former status as Day or Boarding schools, all institutions in the area should still apply for the compliance certificate to the inspectors to determine the worthiness of their decisions taken.