KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Ministry of Education has hinted on the reopening of schools for all learners in the remaining as students in candidate classes reported to their respective schools for the final term on Monday this week.
However, ministry officials say the decision is waiting for final approval by their counterparts at the Ministry of Health and stakeholders at the Covid-19 National taskforce.
Sources close to the Ministry’s management, who declined to be quoted, told this website that while they had proposed to have semi-candidate classes join the candidate classes this term in the second-phased reopening, the technical team realised this would disrupt the learning system.
They then agreed that all learners report back to school to enable them have easy transition to the next classes.
“There were several meetings which were supposed to take place but didn’t. After elections, we are going to meet and decide which classes and when they can go. We had agreed that we allow only sub-candidate classes but we found out that it is going to clog the system,” the source said
“We said let’s go for all of them including Senior One and Twos. But there are several meetings that will take place before the permanent secretary makes a position,” he added.
However, implementation of this decision will depend on what the national Covid-19 taskforce will agree on.
Mr Ismail Mulindwa, the ministry of Education director for basic education, yesterday said they were still discussing with the scientists about the return of learners.
“We have not yet decided when others will join. It might be this month or the next. We are still in discussions with the Ministry of Health to be properly guided. Remember we are adding on students. We are not adding on infrastructure. We need guidance on how to reopen for the rest of the learners…” Mr Mulindwa said.
He said parents will know the final decision next week.
Schools were closed on March 20 last year following the outbreak of Coronavirus. Several measures were then instituted including the lockdown to control further spread. But in June, government started easing the lockdown, later allowing candidate classes to report only if their institutions could implement a two-metre social distance between learners, among other standard operating procedures.
The Ministry of Health emphasizes maintaining social distance, wearing a mask and washing hands regularly to avoid contracting the virus as scientists race to find it’s cure and vaccine.