President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni used his September 22 address to tackle the thorny issue of reopening and detail a program towards full resumption of teaching and learning.
A second wave of the Covid19 pandemic prompted the closure of education institutions in June 2021, disrupting the phased reopening plan.
Visibly angry with Ugandans pushing for the immediate reopening of schools at the expense of lives of Ugandan children, parents and teachers, Museveni explained what informed government decision on reopening.
In his explanation, Museveni noted that the Covid19 National Taskforce considered the fall in cases, positivity rates, hospital admissions, adherence to safety guidelines, and impact of lockdown on economy.
As such, primary and secondary schools will reopen in January 2022.
“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,” noted Museveni.
“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.”
The president hopes the three-month period will be used for vaccination of teachers, non-teaching staff and eligible learners, including those below 18 years.
Learners, lecturers and instructors in universities and tertiary institutions are expected to use one month to take Covid19 jabs.
Reopening of universities and other tertiary Institutions is set for November 01, 2021.
“Post-Secondary institutions of learning to open with effect from 1st November 2021 on condition that; all teachers and non-teaching staff are vaccinated,” announced the president.
“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.”