KAMPALA, UGANDA: President Museveni has announced that schools shall finally reopen after over four months of lockdown and suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a televised address on Covid-19 status in the country on Wednesday evening, the President said universities and tertiary institutions will reopen on November 1, 2021, while other schools including primary and secondary will reopen in January 2022, after sufficient vaccination of the eligible population of children aged 12 to 18 years old has taken place.
Museveni in his address said the decision to reopen schools and other sectors was reached during a cabinet meeting with the National Task Force after considering a decrease in cases, positivity rates, and hospital admissions.
Among other factors, the task force also considered the degree of adherence to safety, procedures by the population and the effects of a continuous lockdown on the economy and on residents.
He said schools will remain closed until January 2022 until sufficient vaccination of the eligible population of children aged 12 to 18 years old has taken place.”
“Infections in children below 18 years are often mild and they recover quickly. However, many of the 15 million learners are day scholars who once infected, go back home and infect their parents and grandparents that may subsequently die. This was observed during the second wave.
“To avoid a similar scenario, the National Task Force, on several occasions considered conditions for safe re-opening of schools which included; vaccination of teachers, non-teaching staff, 330,000 students aged 18 years and above, plus all the other priority population, This was in addition to the rate of transmission in the country.
“To date, out of the targeted 550,000 teachers, 269,945 have already received the 1st dose of vaccination while 96,653 have received the second dose. This leaves a total of 280,055 not yet vaccinated at all”
“I, now, direct as follows: Post-Secondary institutions of learning to open with effect from 1st November 2021 on condition that; all teachers and non-teaching staff are vaccinated
” The 330,000 students aged 18 years and above in post-secondary institutions should be vaccinated as soon as possible
” The rest of the learning institutions will open in January 2022.
The President called upon all teachers and support staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible to enable safe re-opening of schools.