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Makerere University calls off planned full re-opening

Minister of Education Janet Museveni (left) with Vice Chancellor Nawangwe at a previous event. Janet Museveni has pushed a review to the return to normalcy, to after Easter.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere University has called off plans to receive first year students this weekend following a directive from President Yoweri Museveni that a review of full re-opening by all schools be reviewed after three months.

Professor Mary Okwakol of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) confirmed the President’s directive in a letter dated January 27, 2021.

“The NHCE is in receipt of a communication from the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni informing us that based on advice from the Presidential Scientific Advisory Committee, the President has guided that all Higher Education Institutions should continue studying online using the ODeL system for at least another three months. This is so as to enable government find a lasting solution,” she said.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe soon after confirmed  that the ‘Freshers Orientation’ week that was set to start on Saturday January 30 to February 5, will go ahead, but online only.

The university recently released their new academic timetable that included a full re-opening for non-finalists, and return to normalcy. It included plans for their 71st graduation week, March 16th to March 19th.

“I salute you and congratulate you on keeping yourselves safe from COVID-19. Please observe all the SOPs and remain alive, Uganda needs you alive. Following the Government directive, we’re making arrangements to receive finalists as planned on 6th Feb, 2021,” said Nawangwe in a statement.

He added that, “the rest of the students will continue studying online. Freshers will register and receive non-residential orientation beginning Monday 1st February. Please stay tuned for further instructions.”

First Year students (Freshers) are by tradition given an “acclimatization” period of a week which is referred to as the “Orientation Week”. The Freshers used to report on Campus one week earlier than the Continuing students and are introduced to the key facilities in the University as well as other important aspects of life at the University.

It will for the first time in history, be online, starting February 1.

After the online orientation programme, first year students will undertake an Open Distance and e-Learning education model (ODeL/Blended Learning) from their homes.

2020/2021 ACADEMlC YEAR 

  • Fresher’s Orientations ONLINE:  1st February 2021  to 5th February 2021 (5 days)
  • Semester One ONLINE for non-finalists: Saturday: 6th February 2021 to Saturday 8th May 2021 (13 weeks)
  • Semester One Holiday Break: Saturday: 8th May 2021 to Saturday 15th May 2021 (1 week)
  • Semester Two: Saturday: 15th May 2021 to Saturday 14th August 2021 (13 weeks )
  • Recess Term Saturday: 14th August 2021 to Saturday 11th September 2021 (4 weeks )
  • 71st Graduation Week: Tuesday: 16th March 2021 to Friday 19th March 2021



  1. Shall all of us fresher’s attain this seriously. Network in some places like some of us from upcountry.

  2. Andrua Francis Ariaka

    We have been telling p’ple that museveni iz killing the future of ugandan he knew very well his family are all educated

  3. how then shall fresher’s register since registration needs to be at the campus physically. we need more clarification on fresher’s registration thanks

  4. Clarify registration process because I don’t think we are registering online

  5. Consider the students that cannot afford to buy the data and those with no smart phones. some are even in deep villages wea the network is low.

  6. How are we supposed to register and then an on-line orientation!!?? Some students have got no smart phones or even personal computers some are deep down in the villages they can’t access network😯 please clarify the registration😐

  7. Ate era still paying the same fees as before????

  8. I think it’s high time for the students to make strong associations and fight for our rights ,,the current leaders are not serving us just their are filling their self interests
    am soo surprised for that period of 3months,,.the worst part of it their are even lowering our hopes..

  9. I think u wl first have brief us the freshers on how we shal get aces to the activities online and hw to study online coz myself am so green about it
    And perherps data is a very hard to aford,the internet in my village is so unreliable,we dont hav smart phones,no electricity
    Pliz try to put us also into consideration
    Thank u!

  10. But seriously u ppl get serious u a not considering ppl without smart phone or PC banange u should think twice

  11. A we going to continue studying via zoom??

  12. The so called scientists knew very well that they no longer need to attend schools they do such things for the fear of future successors for the sake of there long retirement but we shall be like them one day. Were those who died from corona students from school Am aware of Ugandan elders who are selfish to let there children as there succesors

  13. Bridget gloria namuli

    what of the villagers who can’t access smart phones and the internet,..Also think of those who have no laptops!!Please atleast consider the under privileged!!Now how can orientation take place online for real?Think twice and secure our future!

  14. I have not seen anybody talking about Master student, are they suppose to be together with freshers for orientation? and their tuitions fees per semester, was not mention. Any body with good idea?

  15. Brƴɗjáét glowrƴá namléé

    I thought the orientation thing sh’d be physical!!how will we come to know all the sections in the university online?

  16. The council concerned have a second chance of thinking about this issue.

  17. U pipo ur not serious u can’t event address us how the online orientation will be conducted .ur not fair at all if finalists can follow the SOPs,can’t freshers do the same.? I was suggesting since everything is disappointing,let the orientation be a physical exercise plus registration then we continue with the ODEL.thanx naye tuli banyivu ur systems are on and off we don’t have that transport to travel to campus for system fixing banange╏ ” ⊚ ͟ʖ ⊚ ” ╏⊙﹏⊙⊙﹏⊙⊙﹏⊙⊙﹏⊙

  18. How would those students (freshers)

    who had never get access to computer
    I mean they don’t no how to use it .be in line with others?

  19. How about we wait for the next three months? Online classes do not work for most of the students.

  20. We’re losing our future lively and knowingly plz museveni help can I access e learning from buyende deep in swamp…..oh my God…?

  21. There are pipol who only think of their lives only not considering the poor ,do u think pipol from remote areas will access the services?we young people our future is being burried by the leaders of this country.

  22. I appeal to prof. Nawangwe to discuss more on how the students shall be taken to all departments of the campus through Odel. If students are to buy their own data and laptops ,shall the functional and tution fees remain the same? What’s the difficulty of declaring a dead year instead of postponing every time ( 3 months)?

  23. ralies and open markets are workin shit is political shit shit

  24. Sincerely speaking how can orientation be done online? en ur even talking of e-learnig yet even those who can access the PC’s have little or no knowledge about them (fresher’s)putting in mind that the largest number won’t access PC’s en smartphones so we do need a lot of clarification please en minus that ur leaving many behind.thank you

  25. No there isn’t equality in this coz it’s like the under-previledged are being left out since they have no capacity to access PC’s en smartphones en even those with the capacity are deep in remote areas with no electricity en more clarification is needed before others are left out coz am sure some even don’t know that the programm was called off.thank you(fresher’s)

  26. Counsel kutosi Anthony

    I personally from legal profession it is non of Est factum since covid 19 arrested Uganda I will try my lack until I archieve my goal no matter am still there for success no matter, my last words to students and teachers and also leaders pray for our country Uganda Lord Jesus Christ bless u all.


    So shall we freshers also study online from 6th Feb or we are to wait till further notice???

  28. But our government should be serious with our future and parents money imagine a parent has paid tution and again he or she is going to hustle with data if they are talking of covid open markets are working and kikuubo plus churches are we animals that we can not observe SOPS this politics in our future please

  29. but why dont u care abt down pipo

  30. Not all students can afford to buy a computer or a smart phone and some don’t no how to operate them, they also need to be trained on how to use e-learning system. And some will be left out due to poor internet network especially upcountry. So many students will be left out because not all of them will be able to study online, there is also power unconvinces, some people are deep in the village there there is no electricity.

    Let us do not copy developed countries for them they can afford every thing, they can meet all requirements need to access the so called e-learning.

  31. am stuck and need some help
    i here The so called online orientation is going
    on and am being left out
    how can i join it?

  32. I think GOD should intervene because it seems we are unfortunate this time and we don’t know what to do. This is because many of us have tried to do online registration but we are simply told that fresh students can not register themselves unless it’s face to face. And yet we have to be oriented online that’s what’s disgusting my life every day. Also to add on that, online studies have been a burden to continuing students what about freshers. It seems online education is not what every tom, dick and Harry can do. So please help us to help our beloved country Uganda. For GOD and my country unlike you who are every time talking about the the reverse “For GOD and my stomach”

  33. Mugisa R Christopher

    The university administration ur not serious at all!!! Ur not considering all kinds of students. Some have no access even to this information, then how shall they come up to bord …Prof Nawangwa its better we wait; and have a better program that is effective, affordable and has value for our money “tuition”…………… Communicate about the tuition also…..??????????????????

  34. Mugisa Ronald Christopher

    We need value for our money “tuition” no one is talking about the tuition for this ineffective program. It’s better we wait !!!!!!! We need a better program that is effective, has true value for our tuition, and that covers all the students across the nation. Prof Nawangwe please reconsider????

  35. Is this orientation going on….or……
    What is really happening

  36. Is online studying really going on?………….
    Tell us please…….when are fresher’s really starting….

  37. How will I register,I don’t even know whether you people have opened e learning yet,how will I access it without a PC or smart phone? Think about it

  38. Hello, talk more about external students!

  39. Hello, talk more about external students.

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