Experts have warned that keeping pre-primary school going children aged between three and six out of school will not only affect their brain development but will also hurt the economy.
On Friday, the education minister Janet Museveni nursery schools handling children of this age bracket would remain closed throughout the covid-19 season citing among other issues; the fact that they cannot wear masks and yet are at high risk of contracting respiratory infections like coronavirus.
Dr Mary Goretti Nakabugo, the Executive Director of Uwezo Uganda says it is perturbing since it is uncertain when the pandemic will be over and yet this education level is a strong foundation in improving literacy, learning outcomes and drop out levels.
Dr Nakabugo says learning assessment research shows that children, who are exposed to at least two years of pre-primary education, catch up easily with literacy and numeracy, hardly repeat class or even drop out of school.
Manuela Mulondo, an early childhood stakeholder and also founder, The cradle, says failure to attend early childhood education, ECD will cost the government its ambition to become a middle income country since it will hinder human capital and future labor force productivity.
Child rights activists, Early childhood educators, care providers and business owners among others have started a campaign to petition the education minister so that they devise means of ensuring there continuous learning for pre-primary children.