James Onen, popularly known as Fatboy, has contested the Government’s move to maintain a ban on visitation days in schools, despite the decline in Covid-19 cases.
Since the reopening of schools on January 10th 2022, schools were barred from holding visitation days which the Ministry re-echoed yesterday at the Uganda Media Center saying that the measure is to protect the children and maintain the already made progress since the re-opening.
Fatboy, commenting on the directive, said it was unfair to keep children away from their parents for such a long period despite scientific evidence that shows that they are less susceptible to Covid infections.
“We already know that the rate of Covid in Uganda generally is low, and that the dominant variant right now is a mild one. We also know that children are the least susceptible to getting Covid yet you want to deprive them of visitation from their parents?” the Presenter wondered.
Olive Najjuma, The Fatboy Show Co-host, also remarked that it is irrational to keep children away from their parents for 12 weeks for the fear of them contracting Covid-19 yet the children will return home for holidays.
“So how is this supposed to work?'' Fatboy asked. “It doesn't seem to be well thought out and considering that Uganda is the country that kept children away from schools for the longest time during lockdown, I feel that we are causing them even more suffering. A child may be tempted to think that the Government doesn't like them.”
He went on to add how it’s distressing for one not to be able to see their child for three months, questioning if it was even normal, especially for the younger children.
Speaking as a parent, Olive chipped in to say, “It’s abnormal because when you mention children in boarding school, people think of children in P6, P7 and onwards; but we have younger babies in boarding school and you're denying them to see their parents for three months?”
Fatboy further implored the Education Ministry to consult and re-assess the policy. “Here’s where I wish we had powerful civil society and parent groups to petition the Government and legislators to intervene in this. Because too often we've allowed the bureaucrats to impose these policies without consulting the general public and when they turn out redundant, no one answers for it.”
The Ministry also warned schools that were holding visitation days disguising them as parent meetings saying it was illegal.
However, the Spokesperson of the Ministry Dr. Dennis Mugimba indicated that the policy is still under review and the Ministry is yet to give a final decision on the matter.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.