The government of Uganda is expected to unveil the school reopening plan next week after about 18 months of closure.
This follows a meeting that happened on Tuesday this week at State House Entebbe between President Yoweri Museveni, ministries of education and health, and the Covid-19 national taskforce on the safe reopening of schools.
The meeting was intended to discuss the proposals of the safe reopening of learning institutions that were designed by the ministries of education and health with other key players in the education sector and their proposed reopening date of October 2021.
The presented proposals included the safe reopening of schools in a phased and staggered manner, Covid-19 vaccination for the population that interact with the children in schools, shortening of holidays and extension of school days to include Saturday, vaccinating teachers, prioritizing 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.
Dr Dennis K. Mugimba, the Ministry of Education spokesperson, said their team had proposed that schools reopen next month, but Museveni said the dates are too near given the looming threat of the third wave of Covid-19.
“Given the emerging realities of [low] vaccination rate of teachers, non-teaching staff and students above 18 years, the President asked us to rethink another date and report back next week,” Dr Mugimba told Daily Monitor early this week.
“His argument was that the last time government reopened schools, learners took back the infections to their parents and a number of them lost their lives.”
As a way forward according to Dr. Mugimba, the President directed that the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja leads the team that is responsible for the safe reopening including the ministry of education, health and the covid-19 national task force to further discuss some key issues and come up with final modalities and the dates of reopening that will later be presented to the President for approval.
He further noted that the Prime Minister is expected to convene a meeting next week to discuss the issues that were highlighted by the president and then come up with the dates of reopening after ensuring that the proposals in place safe guard the learners, teachers, non-teaching staff and also the people at home especially the elderly.
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