Fredrick Matyama, the Commissioner for education planning and policy analysis at the Ministry of Education and Sports, has warned that school reopening would require Shs 78 trillion.
Commissioner Mutyama was part of the team from the Ministry that appeared before Parliament’s Committee on National Economy on July 16.
State minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo led the team to the meeting with the committee that former Finance Minister Syda Bbumba chairs.
SCHOOL REOPENING OR ACADEMIC YEAR
Committee members urged the Ministry to declare a dead academic year for all schools since a lot of time was already lost due to the Covid19 lockdown.
These included Ayivu county MP Bernard Atiku who reasoned that learners had already lost time, a dead year would be the best option so schools can resume next year.
Besides, Atiku went on, the country is in an election season and dealing with the modalities of handling both polls and school reopening under the Covid19 pandemic would be overwhelming.
“We know what it means to be in active political environment and also having the current situation of coronavirus and education,” submitted Atiku.
“I don’t know why the ministry is not coming out clearly to advise government that this is a dead year like Kenyans have announced.”
In March, President Yoweri Museveni closed all education institutions as a measure against the spread of Covid19 — even before Uganda registered her first case.
Earlier plans for school reopening candidates and final year students were suspended after scientists advised against them.
The cost of putting in place standard operating procedures (SoPs) amidst financial hardships also saw the proposal of partial reopening deferred.
Although, Minister Muyingo said they were ready to reopen if the Ministry of Health (MoH) recommended resumption, Matyama revealed putting in place the necessary SoPs would consume trillions.
That would mean spending Shs 33 trillion more than the current national budget of Shs 45 trillion.
Recently, Education Minister Janet Museveni explained the school reopening dilemma but allowed online classes.