KAMPALA, UGANDA: President Yoweri Museveni has finally okayed the reopening of schools and other educational institutions in Uganda after months of continued Covid-19 lockdown.
Museveni in his Address to the Nation in June this year ordered the closure of schools indefinitely to stem the surging number of Covid-19 cases as the country grappled with the second wave of the pandemic that has distorted the education sector since early 2020.
However, in a meeting with the National Covid-19 Taskforce, and officials in the Ministry of Health and Education on Thursday, September 16, Mr. Museveni directed Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to lead the team of technocrats in guiding the reopening of schools.
According to a source privy to the meeting, the cabinet is expected to release a new schools’ academic calendar early next week which will be tabled for further scrutiny ahead of a Presidential address expected next week.
The source intimated to this website that the Prime Minister has been tasked to hold a meeting with Education and Health officials to draw the final program that will spell out the days, and generally oversee the safe reopening of schools.
Among the proposals tabled is the suggestion that school days be prolonged to Saturday while learners endure longer school terms and much shorter holidays.
The schools, according to Thursday’s cabinet meeting will be opened in a phased manner with priority given to finalists in O’level and A’level classes, plus final year students in tertiary institutions.
Ministry of Education will prioritise learners who had less time in school, strengthening the continuity of learning, reviewing the school curriculum to concentrate on core competences (like the literacy, numerous and English) and strengthening the Covid-19 surveillance system in schools.
Ministry of Health has been tasked to prioritize vaccination of teachers, non-teaching staff, the communities with the elderly whom the president argued that would be at risk especially in day schools.