The assistant commissioner in charge of private school and institutes of higher learning, George Mutekanga, has said teachers, learners and parents need psychosocial support ahead of the reopening of schools come January 20202.
Mutekanga made the remarks at the launch of the vine toolbox by the Acts Fund, a non governmental organisation.
The toolbox comprises three books that talk about the teachers, parents and learners in and out of Covid-19 as the nation prepares to resume schools in January.
Acts Fund said it is running a rehabilitation campaign for teachers, parents and learners ahead of the reopening and they will create programs for children to address anxiety as the sudden change in their routine might affect them.
Since March 2020 when the government closed all educational institutions following the outbreak of Covid-19, many teachers, learners and parents have silently been going through several psychosocial challenges ranging from anxiety about the future and economic uncertainty.
Now as the government plans to reopen all schools by January 2022, Mutekanga said that his ministry has decided to engage the private education institutions to receive their proposals and see how they can support them to safely reopen.
“We need to provide psychosocial support to children, teachers and parents who have been affected by Covid-19. We are coming up with a strategy to ensure that we support these people mentally,”he said
“We have learners who have lost their parents, guardians and sponsors and people who are going through a lot of hardship during this pandemic more especially teachers in private schools, ”he added.
The director Education and Social Services at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Juliet Namuddu Nambi said the idea of thinking about mental health before the reopening of schools is very important since many learners, teachers and parents have been greatly affected by the pandemic.
“All of us are thinking on how we are going to support learners ,teachers ,parents ,communities to come back to life and as we go back to school . Mental health is about your health. Children, teachers who are at home right now need support mentally because they miss their colleagues, they miss being in school,” she said.