As of October 16 all Primary 7 and Senior 4 student have returned to school under the Ugandan governments guidance and recommendations. We are still waiting more information concerning the Senior 4 students but do know that all who were enrolled prior to school closures due to COVID-19 have reported in order to return to their studies.
ROA teachers and staff have spent a considerable amount of time preparing the school for re-opening in accordance with the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). These included guidelines surrounding social distancing and the availability of handing washing facilities as well as other precautions. Prior to reopening ROA received a compliance certificate from the health and education officials.
Typically, students in the 7th grade spend the entire year preparing for the Primary Leaving Exam (PLE). This is a high stakes test with the outcome determining which secondary programs the students might be able to apply to. As school has been out since March preparation time for the PLE has been significantly decreased. Therefore ROA will operate as a boarding school for these students allowing for extra study time. Boarding the Primary 7 students will also help prevent the spread of coronavirus as students will remain at school full-time. Visitors, including parents, will not be allowed per the government mandate.
Preparing to board the 7th graders presented many challenges. In addition to ensuring more hand-washing facilities, masks, sanitizer, and thermometers for daily use, providing enough beds for the 30 students and the additional staff who must act as caretakers was quite a change. ROA has now converted 5 of 14 classrooms into dormitories for the P7 students and thanks to your support has been able to provide beds for each student.
Boarding for the P7 students will continue through March 2021 when they will sit for their PLE. We ask for your continued prayers for the health and safety of the ROA staff and students and for all the sponsors and donors who, like yourself, have made the distribution of food and the availability of medical support possible for all the students of ROA during this difficult time. And finally, we ask for your prayers for the P7 and S4 students who have returned to school for the first time since March, who are under extreme pressure to study for their exams and who will be away from family (perhaps for the first time for some of the P7 students) as they are boarded at ROA and their respective schools.