The reopening of schools for candidate classes earlier this month was a busy, exciting time for the Palliative Care Association of Uganda (PCAU) team and many of our Road to Hope (RTH) children. The 12 RTH children in candidate classes all successfully returned to their schools and are back in classes. These children will take their ‘leaving exams,’ which determine if they pass the candidate class, in March of 2021.
The Ministry of Education and Sports laid out clear safety guidelines for schools to meet in order for the candidate classes to return to in-person learning. All of the schools where we have RTH candidates have met these guidelines and welcomed our children back. Without the other classes in session, they are able to adhere to social distancing measures. Hopefully, this will help them stay safe and healthy while they are in school. Luckily, the President of Uganda issued a directive that schools could not increase fees during this time. Students did have to pack additional supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, extra soap and extra cleaning supplies for the school. Some of our children needed new uniforms as they continued growing since their previous uniforms were bought in January!
Although schools are not officially open for all other classes, PCAU has been able to make some special arrangements for a few of the other RTH children who were having trouble concentrating at home and finding support for their learning. They have returned to school for special tutoring. There will be no official exams or promotion to the next class, but they will receive structured learning right now.
The RTH children who are not candidates have settled into their new learning for the remainder of the year. In the various communities where the children live, 17 teachers have been recruited to provide tutoring to the children. In some cases, school administrators are making other arrangements to help support the children. For example, children can bring lessons to them for grading and feedback. PCAU continues to supply additional learning materials for all children as well as support for their basic needs. This has been an enormous help for families as many of the children’s guardians have lost work during the pandemic and are struggling to meet the needs of the children.
Mwesigwa – S.4
Evelyn – P.7
Douglas – P.7
Crispus – S.4