Ministry of Education uncertain about reopening of schools

Education and Sports minister Janet Kataha Museveni

By URN

The Ministry of Education is still uncertain when schools will reopen. Last month, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced fresh restrictions as part of measures to control the COVID-19 transmissions in the country in face of the second wave of the pandemic.

Among the restrictions, the President directed the closure of all educational institutions across the country for 42 days.

Addressing journalists at the release of Primary Leaving Examination(PLE) results on Friday, the Education and Sports minister Janet Kataha Museveni said that it is premature to reveal when school will reopen.  
According to Mrs Museveni, the ministry is waiting for a decision from the cabinet.

 After the closure of educational institutions was announced, the education ministry made tentative adjustments to the school calendar. At that time, schools were expected to reopen on July 19 to enable learners to complete their respective syllabi before being promoted to the next classes.  

This arrangement was cut short when the President declared a fresh 42-days lockdown on June 18. Sources at the Ministry of Education note that they have been discussing possible situations of reopening schools but they are yet to conclude.  

“The ministry would like all learners to cover something on their current class syllabus before they are promoted but the extended lockdown distorted the times. For example, they are class like P1 to P3 who have never returned to school since march last and authorities are planning to see how they can be fitted in,” a source noted.

Currently, there are concerns from parents, school owners, educationists, and learners alike that the more the ministry delays in making decisions and developing plans for reopening, the more the sector will be affected.   

The system is getting clogged with candidates being passed on to the next level of education yet those in the next classes have not been promoted. For instance, with PLE results released, the 2020 candidates have been promoted to S.1 but those currently in the class have only spent a few weeks in school with most of them not even covering half of the syllabus.  
As a tentative solution, Mrs Museveni notes that parents should embrace home-schooling as the ministry looks at the possible plan.  

She further adds that if home schooling is embraced, the ministry will be sending materials to all learners.


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