Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery management has announced plans to scrap the admission of male students due the institution's lack of a boys' hostel.
"The institution lacks a boy's hostel. What we have been using to house them belongs to the Jinja Regional Referral Hospital who have given us two years to vacate," the institution's acting Principal, Ms Mebra Mulabiza said.
Ms Mulabiza made the disclosure to the State Minister for Higher Education, Mr John Chrysestom Muyingo, who was monitoring the medical school's adherence to Covid-19 directives including mandatory vaccination for students and staff.
"With such an ultimatum in place, we ought not to admit boys," she remarked on September 10.
Dr Safina Kisu Musene, the commissioner Health Education and Training (HET), however, called for planning [now] instead of waiting for the two-year period to elapse.
"Maybe we should negotiate with the hospital," she suggested.
Jinja Nursing School has a population of 1,200 students but 585 have since reported; however, during admission, there are much more girls because of the midwifery component.
Mr Muyingo explained that the Ministries of Education and Health are monitoring health and medical training institutions countrywide.
"We want to see how you are observing SOPs. We don't want to see anyone failing sick and dying," he said.
Mr Muyingo heard that most of the staff got the first dose of vaccination before the lockdown and are currently getting the second dose, while students will be vaccinated after their examinations which began on September 6, with practicals expected to start September 13.
According to Ms Mulabiza, all students were screened upon arrival, signed consent forms to stick to SoPs and they have also limited the number of visitors to the institution in order to protect the community.
At Jinja Medical Laboratory Training School, Mr Muyingo heard from the Principal, Mr Lawrence Tsongo, that eight tutors were not vaccinated due to a "technicality" which he [Tsongo] is trying to address.
At the same address, it was also established that a staff member had contracted Covid-19 but was in self-isolation offsite.
"So far, SoPs are being adhered to, students and tutors started undergoing vaccination on Thursday; but this week, no tutor is expected to report without being fully vaccinated," Mr Muyingo decreed.
Meanwhile, plans are also underway to relocate the ophthalmic school from Jinja Regional referral hospital to a government-funded Shs1.5b property sitting on four acres in Masese Ward, Jinja South Division.
The project, expected to be completed in December, is currently at 70 percent, according to the contractor, Semwo Construction Company Limited; however, it faces challenges, including theft allegedly perpetuated by locals and encroachment by land grabbers.
"Encroachers want to re-allocate part of the land, we are also grappling with thieves and have decided to watch over our property and equipment after law enforcement officers also became victims of their attacks," Eng Moses Semwogerere, the contractor, said.
Mr Muyingo, however, warned whoever is trying to encroach on land of a government school to "take off before the law catches up on them."
Overall, Mr Muyingo said he was impressed with the progress of the work which had so far been done over a two-month period.
According to Mr Muyingo, the reopening of schools and other higher institutions of learning largely hinges on their ability to carry out mass vaccinations and routine adherence to the SOPs.