KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataaha Museveni has said that there will be no more Nursery / Kindergarten school until the COVID-19 pandemic is gone.
The minister who is also the country’s first lady said in a Friday press briefing that children will now have to start school in Primary One at least 5 years of age.
“Parents can do this play-learning at home. Nursery school is not worth endangering these very young children and exposing them to COVID-19. Besides, the P1 teachers know how to teach these children even when they haven’t gone to Kindergarten,” the minister said while addressing the press on how education institutions will reopen for non-candidate classes.
Mrs. Museveni also noted that Kindergartens or Pre-primary schools will not be re-opened because pupils in this age bracket do not wear masks, adding that, “they are day schools with a lot of interactions between schools (pupils and teachers) & parents, there is also a high incidence of upper respiratory infections among this age.”
Education institutions in Uganda have been closed to non-candidate classes for close to a year ever since President Yoweri Museveni passed a directive in March 2020 as a way of combating the spread of the Coronavirus.
On Thursday, the president said that students in P6, S3, and S5 will join the candidate classes on March 1st, 2021 to continue with their academic year which is expected to end in July 2021.
In her speech, Janet Museveni said that Primary and Secondary schools will complete their academic year in a staggered manner with semi-candidates (P6, S3, S6) reporting on 1st March 2021 and close on 21st May 2021.
The ministers said that these will study for 12 weeks and in shifts where necessary.
“P7 students will complete Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) on 31st March 2021 and S4 students will complete Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) on 6th April 2021.
After, there will be enough space to enable the P4, P5, S1 e.t.c to report for classroom studies,” the minister told journalists.
The minister also noted there will not be examinations, saying that progression to the next class will be based on attendance and continuous assessment of classwork and assignments.
On universities and other Tertiary institutions
The minister said that universities and other Tertiary Institutions should open in a phased manner starting 1st March 2021 to enable institutions to conform to the Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in lecture rooms, halls of residence, dining halls, and on-campus generally.
Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, Primary Teacher’s Colleges (PTCs), and National Teacher’s Colleges (NTCs) shall also open on 1st March 2021 for the rest of the learners provided they meet the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The minister noted that the Academic year 2020 will end in July 2021 and thereafter a comprehensive school calendar and a strategy for the recovery of lost time will be issued and implemented.