Education International

Experts Worried that Formal Education in Uganda Cannot be Restarted

Schools in Uganda have reopened after nearly two years, but all is not well. In fact, nothing is good at all. It is now evident that education cannot be restarted because everything is working against education. The learners have changed, and their minds are gone.

Uniform Problem

A spot check by PostaMate found that 64% of all learners did not report to school because they had outgrown their school uniforms.

In what could be a blow to the government’s effort to reopen schools, parents said that it would be impossible to acquire huge volumes of new uniforms within a short time, owing not to just to financial constrains but also to the unreliable nature of tailors who have never kept a single promise or deadline in the last 183 years.

This means that parents cannot get new school uniforms for their kids. But why did they outgrow the uniforms?

With schools closed long, the only viable activity that students have been engaging in was eating.

One parent who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want the children in future to claim that they were abused when they were young said that her children had developed some bottomless pits instead of stomachs. “The other day I sent them to buy a pizza and they brought eight of them. By the time I finished educating them about the economic implications of what they had done, they had finished eating the pizzas. Maybe times have changed, but I don’t understand how three girls can eat eight pizzas in one seating!”

Even those who have not outgrown their school uniforms have a similar problem. Many have gotten their uniforms torn and worn out because they have been engaged in manual labor instead of idling in a homestead and pretending to be reading. “Children from rural areas and urban slums have been working hard to help their parents. Most of these have been doing this in their school uniforms and they are worn out beyond repair.”

Now they need new school uniforms, but they cannot get them.

Forgetting the Alphabet

While the uniform matter can be solved by having willing students learn in home clothes, another problem might make it harder for some pupils to resume studies.

Teachers have expressed their worries that most learners have forgotten the alphabet, making it impossible for them to learn anything.

“You find students in lower secondary who cannot tell the difference between M and W. Others cannot move past letter G in the alphabet. This means they cannot read or write. We have to start from the basics.”

With these challenges, it seems that schools could be nonexistent in Uganda in the next three years.

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