School going children. Photo/ Courtesy.
School going children. Photo/ Courtesy.

The Minister of Education and Sports in Uganda, Janet Museveni, has announced the schools’ reopening dates for continuation of first term of 2020. This follows a directive to close all schools for 30 days (effective Friday March 20, 2020) by the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The east African Country that is currently on a total lock down, will see its learners going back to class, soon. “Pre-primary, primary, secondary schools and Primary Teachers’ Colleges will open for the continuation of Term I on 27th April 2020 up to 12th June 2020. Term 2: 22nd June to 4th September and Term 3: 21st September to 19th December 2020, in case everything goes as planned,” says Janet who is also Uganda’s First Lady since 1986.

“God willing, Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions, including BTVET institutions will open the Continuation of the current Semester on 2nd May 2020,” she added.

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First Lady and Minister of Education Janet Museveni also said exams for this term (term one 2020) are called off. “There shall be no formal test or examinations at the end of Term 1. All the time should be used for teaching and learning. Cumulative end of topic class-based results should be used on end of term reports. Candidates shall do only ONE school generated Mock Examinations at the end of Term 2. Therefore all schools are herewith barred from engaging students in any externally set mock examinations this year, to ensure syllabus recovery time is not wasted,” noted Janet who has been Cabinet Minister of Education and Sports in the Ugandan Cabinet, since 6 June 2016.

While making the announcements on Live TV on Saturday night, Mrs Museveni at the same time warned universities forcing students to take examinations online; saying such examinations have been suspended. “We have received several complaints/concerns that some Universities are forcing students to pay for and do online Examinations during this period, yet quite a number of our students do not have the required facilities and the money to do this. We have therefore, decided that all these Examinations be suspended until we are out of this crisis,” she directed.

According to Mrs Museveni, her Ministry will organize lessons and has secured free learning airtime on radio to engage learners lacking requisite internet access equipment. We will send out a harmonized continuous learning program for all Primary and Secondary school learners to all Local Governments and Association of Secondary School Headteachers of Uganda (ASSHU), where selected teachers will use Local Radios which can be accessed by most learners and TVs where possible. The teaching will focus on core basic concepts in what learners have already covered. This will be supplemented with printed material wherever possible,” reported the Minister.

In the neighbouring country, Kenya, the Ministry is yet to give a notice as to when schools are set to reopen. Some schools have in fact been identified and prepared as possible COVI-19 isolation centres. 


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