FULL SPEECH: Key Notes from Museveni’s Thursday Address

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS: President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday addressed the nation at 8pm on matters concerning Covid-19 Update and reopening of schools for non-candidate classes and below is a summary of take ways from the president’s speech.

Museveni in his speech said the closure of schools on March 20, 2020 which sent home over 15 million students was a very very wise decision because none of the students has died of COVID19 in the country.

• We have now decided to open for the semi-candidate classes, these are S.5, S.3 and P.6, these are the next batch. We have decided that they report on the 1st March 2021.

• Primary Seven candidates are going to finish their exams on 31st March, the Senior four candidates will finish on 6th April, we thought it was wise for the next candidate classes to come in. And we have decided that they report on 1st March 2020

• Museveni said out of the 1.3 million candidates who were allowed to return to schools last year, only 257 have been confirmed positive with COVID19.

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• After careful analysis, we decided to use indirect methods of teaching to reach the learners. This went on till October 15th when we opened for the candidate classes.

Museveni says it’s a pity that some people interfered with radios for every homestead for students to continue with long distance learning. “I was busy campaigning, I didn’t time to fight, it would have caused some little war. But God is there!”

• Letting semi candidates back to school on 1st march is a calculated move, the space could still be enough, for social distancing.

• In April, candidates will be done with school. The Ministry of Education and Sports will work out a plan to allow for the other learners to report to school. They may report in phases, a batch studies and goes away while the others will continue to learn remotely.

• The risk with reopening for schools is that young children can catch corona, recover but then go back home and infect their parents and grand parents. We might end up losing a whole generation like happened with HIV/Aids

• Vaccinations for COVID-19 to commence end of February or start of March. We are beginning with 3.5 million doses. But we also intend to buy 18 million doses, meant for 9 million person since each person gets 2 doses each.

• Universities and tertiary institutions to reopen in March in a staggered way. Good thing they are already using long distance but it is important that scientists come back and do practicals. 2020 academic year to end in July 2021

• Universities and tertiary schools to open in March in a staggered way

• Mr Museveni said the universities and tertiary institutions will open in March in a staggered manner. He revealed that the academic year 2020 will end in July 2021.

• The president said that they haven’t forgotten about other sectors that are still closed for instance bars, adding that these will be considered for opening when the country gets the vaccines.

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• “If we say ‘bars open but serve from outside’ this could be valid but these are drunkards, people who are not sober, will they follow that? I will feel much happier if we get a vaccine then things will be easy,” Mr Museveni said.

• He appealed to Ugandans to continue following the health guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

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