The Archbishop Church of Uganda Stephen Kazimba Mugalu has asked the government to offer counseling sessions to both teachers and learners as schools re-open.
The Archbishop made the call on Friday during New Year prayers at Namirembe Cathedral where he was the main celebrant.
Schools are expected to re-open on January 10 after close to two years of closure following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After months of being closed, Archbishop Kazimba said there’s a need for counseling so that learners and teachers can be re-oriented into schools.
He said teachers need to be taught how to handle for instance pregnant learners and those who have given birth.
In October last year when the government re-opened schools for candidate classes, many schools opted to prioritize the emotional and mental welfare of both the learners and the teachers.
The Ministry of Education and Sports and the Gender Ministry last year developed a policy tool to enable pregnant girls or young mothers to continue with education due to the high number of teenage pregnancies recorded during the lockdown.
Figures from the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) show that over 200,000 teenage pregnancies were recorded during the almost two-year lockdown.
The Archbishop also urged the government to find a lasting solution to the problem of street children in the country.
He described the situation of children begging on the street as a ticking time bomb that would erupt one day.
Kazimba also said that this year’s theme of the Church of Uganda will be, ‘Hope Beyond Affliction’.
Kazimba urged Christians to remain hopeful during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He said with the new Omicron variant and the re-opening of the economy, the church is hopeful that all shall be well despite the many challenges in 2021.