We were delighted to learn that Uphill has been designated a COVID safe school, following a rigorous inspection by members of the local District COVID Task Force. All the schools and universities in Uganda were closed in March when the country went into full lockdown and only those with the full COVID Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place have been allowed to reopen. Uphill is the only school in the area that has the facilities and additional funding needed to meet the rigorous SOP requirements for the Primary 7 children to return to school. The Primary Leavers Examination, due to be held in November, has been rescheduled for May 2021 so pupils will now have time to prepare properly, which is great news. We will have to wait and see when the rest of the pupils are allowed to return – we are hoping that home schooling will be allowed to continue for Primary 4-6.
COVID safe schools have to exist in a ‘bubble, with children and staff living within the school grounds for the next 3 months. At Uphill an askari (security guard) has been hired to man the gate – he is responsible for logging names and contact details of any visitors, recording temperatures and ensuring that hands are washed and sanitised before entering the premises. Access to the school grounds is now strictly controlled during term time to reduce the risks of cross infection.
In preparation of the school opening, the staff made a big batch of liquid soap, under the watchful eye of Shalot, the Director’s wife
The Uphill COVID task force learning how to use the new temperature guns
The District COVID Task Force were very impressed with the new handwashing station at the school and with the foot operated portable handwash unit for the school gate
The school now has plentiful supplies of hand sanitiser as well as soap
The COVID SOPs require information to be posted clearly around the school and in the classrooms
Parents were invited into school to explain what life will be like for their children for the next 3 months and to explain what they will need to bring with them (bedding, clothes, wash kits etc)
Primary 7 are very happy to be back and have quickly settled back in the ‘new’ school routine
Uphill Director Elius passes on his heartfelt thanks to all The Uphill Trust supporters who have helped to provide the facilities, staff salaries, additional food and all the other materials needed to help Uphill Junior School meet the stringent requirements of a COVID safe school in Uganda. It is so good to see the school operating once more!
UPDATE: The Ugandan government has announced that children in all year groups can return to school on 11 January 2020. Uphill Junior School has put out an appeal to help provide fabric face masks for all the children at the school, as many families will struggle to afford this extra cost. A face mask costs £1 and ideally each child needs three masks – can you help?
Please add ‘UPHILL MASKS’ in the message box on your donation. Thank you!