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School re-opening plans await Cabinet decision

Schools still uncertain when they will resume, or when the new academic year starts

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Education is still uncertain when schools will reopen.

Last month, President Yoweri Museveni announced fresh restrictions as part of measures to control the COVID-19 transmissions in the country in face of the second wave of the pandemic. Among the restrictions, the President directed the closure of all educational institutions across the country for 42 days.

Addressing journalists at the release of Primary Leaving Examination-PLE results on Friday, the Education and Sports minister Janet Museveni said that it is premature to reveal when school will reopen.

She said the ministry is waiting for a decision from cabinet. “I do not want to say there is a time in future we know when we will open. Whether it will be a long process of opening some and not others, is yet to be decided,” Janet Museveni said.

First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni released the PLE 2020 results. PHOTO Uganda National Examinations Board @UNEB_UG

After the closure of educational institutions was announced, the education ministry made tentative adjustments to the school calendar. At that time, schools were expected to reopen on July 19 to enable learners to complete their respective syllabus before being promoted to the next classes.

A new schools year was also set to start in August.

This arrangement was cut short when the President declared a fresh 42-days lockdown on June 18. Sources at the Ministry of Education note that they have been discussing possible situations of reopening schools but they are yet to conclude.

“The ministry would like all learners to cover something on their current class syllabus before they are promoted but the extended lockdown distorted the times. For example, they are class like P1 to P3 who have never returned to school since march last and authorities are planning to see how they can be fitted in,” a source noted.

Currently, there are concerns from parents, school owners, educationists, and learners alike that the more the ministry delays in making decisions and developing plans for reopening, the more the sector will be affected.

The system is getting clogged with candidates being passed on to the next level of education yet those in the next classes have not been promoted.

For instance, with PLE results released, the 2020 candidates have been promoted to S.1 but those currently in the class have only spent a few weeks in school with most of them not even covering half of the syllabus.

As a tentative solution, Janet Museveni noted that parents should embrace home-schooling as the ministry looks at the possible plan.

She further adds that if home schooling is embraced, the ministry will be sending materials to all learners.

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URN

12 comments

  1. Namugera Francis

    Re-opening of schools is not a bad idea but we have also to look into protecting life than rushing to re-open schools. Let the Ministry instead look for possible ways to vaccinate both teachers and learners and all school stakeholders as a priority. I therefore suggest that schools and all other learning institutions be re-opened in February 2022 and we all begin with the old school model and program. We rushed as a country to tentatively re-open these institutions last year and this did not yield anything good apart from losing lives due to the high rates of infections in these institutions. Save Lives and make Promotions by merit and we restart afresh when conditions may look to be a little bit favorable. Thank you

    • But for sure we have stayed at home for along time. Our minds are being distorted justing loosing the interest of education. So atleast let the government vaccinate all students, teachers and they re-open schools. lt’s my prayer.

  2. I suggest that all teaching staff should be vaccinated

  3. re opening of school is good but government should acces the weather of deadly disease corana virus and what our president is good to saved our life as student.

  4. re opening of school is good but government should acces the weather of deadly disease corana virus and what our president is doing is good to saved our life as student.

  5. The ministry is not decisive, other executive members out of the ministry have a say. This has weakened the sector. I wonder how we even go for international tournaments and expect to win yet here we don’t train. The number of candidates at primary level who missed exams was so alarming, what about the high school children? As per next opening if prolonged more, 70% of girls are not going back to school and you will see shaky laws coming mbu why did one marry a school going child? See how soonest you will open schools and account well with supervisors employed who sit in offices to check thoroughly the observation of sop’s rather than keeping in fear of the pandemic.

    • Honestly reopening of schools should be decided faster because corona virus is first of all going no where it will be just like Ebola so see the ways of reopening schools instead of suggesting home learning which won’t help learners

  6. The honest truth is that home schooling is not big an option. U ssy that materials wil be provided to everyone but if food and money has taken this long to be supplied…then how long will the learning materials take??????
    For me i suggest that schools be opened and enforce the sops to be put in place. This covid is not going anywhere and we all know it.
    The delayed opening of schools is going to just lead to destruction of children’s lives hence early marriages and whatsoever.

  7. Apio Ruth Ojera

    For sure this keeping children at home with ignorance won’t help , decision should be made early to reopen schools otherwise this virus has come to go no were..we need to just teach one another how to prevent it by following the sops ..and I believe many have learnt how hard life can be behind the bars…coz lockdown has taught most of us a good lesson of life to listen and follow instructions…Much thanks to His Excellency President

  8. By now over 90% members of this Country know what to do with processes of how to minimize the spread of this virus by prevention methods. what I pity us for are the level of ignorance we as learnt Ugandan indulge in. Very unfortunate many times even mere dressing up of face masks have to be enforced by Police and the Army, all the hand washing facilities which initial were in goo practices are currently dry and the vaccination process is very much slow.
    In my view the Schools needs to be considered for opening and be aware this will go suit the Transport Industry which will not only move people but also the Virus. Even if this virus has come to stay, healthy humans remained productive than when unhealthy individual is battling to live. Government must put aside every aspects and invest in the Vaccination of the entire Country.

  9. With such a low count of vaccines in the country, how possible will govt vaccinate all teenagers in time. Yet I have never even hard of any vaccination point in my village and more so anybody being vaccinated.let govt wait till 2022 that will give time for all those programs and even start the new school calendar afresh. Thx

  10. Why can’t they open schools and if it’s vaccinating they can possibly find ways on putting vaccination centers when teachers and students entering school..
    Due to these rumors around I don’t think many wil go for vaccinations

    #schoolsshouldbeopened

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