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SCHOOLS: Focus will be on Top Class, P1 and P6

Teachers will be back soon on blackboard. PHOTO PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools)

Lower Primary Learners, Semi Candidates to be prioritized when schools reopen

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Education and Sports will give special attention to learners in lower primary and semi-candidates when schools reopen in January.

Sources privy to the matter in the Ministry of Education says that an opportunity will be given to classes that have had the least amount of time for physical attendance of learning at school.

“These include the current pre-school learners in Top class, P.1 To P.3 pupils, and S.1 and S.2 students. The second priority will be for incoming candidate classes (P.6, S.3, and S.5) to enable them to complete the syllabus and prepare for end-of-cycle national examinations,” several sources indicated.

Information obtained by our reporter shows that to ensure completion of the academic year 2020 and progression of learners to the next level, the learners will undergo two months of accelerated core curriculum coverage.

Learners in Primary Four and Five will remain home for two months after the reopening and wait to start with the new Academic Year which is more likely to begin either in March or April 2022.

Hajji Ismael Mulindwa, the Chairperson of the education COVID19 response committee. Mulindwa, however, refused to give further details on the matter noting that the ministry is currently preparing a new school calendar.

“We should be patient, the ministry is developing a revised school calendar which will be available to the public at the right time,” Mulindwa noted.

Filbert Baguma, the General Secretary of Uganda National Teachers’ Union-UNATU, says that the ministry should disseminate the school calendar earlier enough to ensure that schools are given enough time to prepare for the reopening after a long closure.

Baguma also adds the abridged curriculum should be released in time to enable teachers to internalize its content for better teaching and learning process.

Dr Kedrace Tulyagyenda, the Director of Education Standards, said the concerns on the delayed dissemination of the abridged curriculum are right. She however adds that currently the national curriculum development centre is finalizing the content of the curriculum and will soon be disseminated to schools and ensure that teachers are reoriented before reopening.

In the same development, Denis Mugimba, the Education Ministry Spokesperson, notes that the ministry has released capitation funds to enable schools to have enough time to prepare for the scheduled reopening. Dr Mugimba notes that the permanent secretary has guided the local government to give out 50 percent of the first’s release to this effect.

The academic year 2020 was cut short when the President announced a total lockdown in March 2020. Schools remained closed until October when the government allowed finalists at institutions of higher learning and learners in candidate classes to reopen.

Subsequently, a new calendar was issued and schedules for other classes to return to school in a staggered manner were made. However, in April the country was hit by a second wave of covid-19 infections leading to a second closure.

Uganda is the only country in Africa where schools remain fully closed for close to two years.

Data collected from UNICEF shows that Uganda has closed schools longest in the world followed by Nepal, and Bolivia.

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One comment

  1. The government should publish the school calendar so that parents are informed.

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