In a press briefing on Wednesday at State House Nakasero, the Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataaha Museveni decried schools’ habit of holding learners to as late as 8:30 p.m while picking them in shuttles as early as 4:30a.m.
She directed schools to stop the behavior and to ensure that the children leave schools before 5:30pm because going very early to school and leaving very late affects their mental, physical and spiritual health.
Commenting on the remarks, RX Radio presenter, Olive Najjuma said that, although the Minister was right that children shouldn’t be going to schools very early, she wondered whether the Minister had put into consideration reasons as to why some children are made to leave home so early.
“For instance, if I stay in Kira, you know how far it is and the traffic on that road. If I have to reach my workplace by 7:00am and I have school going children, you do realize that I have to leave home with them at around 4:30 or 5:30a.m to beat the traffic for us all to reach our destinations in time,” Olive told James Onen, her co-host.
Fatboy reasoned that, that’s why most parents opt for boarding schools rather than school shuttles or other transportation means, because when added to school fees, they become very costly. He therefore urged the Minister to provide possible solutions if the issue is to be fixed.
“Obviously, it's a very challenging time for parents, children and everyone concerned and I am glad the First Lady is speaking on these issues. But on one hand, I would like to see these statements reflected in policy. To me it's not enough that she just decries the problem but I'd like her to propose solutions,” he said.
The first lady in the same conference said that parents should be left to make the decision of whether they want their children to get vaccinated against Covid 19 or not contrary to the Public health Bill that was tabled before parliament on February 3, in which children aged 5-11 will be subjected to mandatory vaccination.
The State Minister in charge of Primary Education Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu however notified the first lady that a press statement had earlier been released stating that they were to vaccinate all children.
“It's quite embarrassing if the Minister of Education comes out to ask who said this and the Health Minister also has to defend herself because I’d assume that since the Ministry of health wants to vaccinate children, who are under the Ministry of Education, they would have a talk before they come to us” said Olive.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.