Just hours after President Yoweri Museveni announced his government’s decision to reopen education institutions’ gates to final year students and candidates, Makerere University has released a revised calendar.
Museveni allowed schools to reopen on October 15 for the candidate classes of Primary Seven, Senior Four, Senior Six, finalists in tertiary colleges and finalists in universities.
Education institutions have been closed to all learners since March 20 when Museveni ordered 15 million learners to return home as a preventive measure against Covid19.
Makerere’s over 10,000 finalists are some of the 1.2 million learners who will be returning to school in coming weeks.
Vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, in company of University Council Chairperson Lorna Magara, has told reporters on September 21 that finalists will report on October 17 – seven months since the university closed its gates to all learners.
The second part of Semester II will end on December 12, 2020 for both graduate and undergraduate students.
For final year medical students, the College of Health Sciences will open its gates on October 03.
These will complete the second part of Semester II, that was interrupted by Covid19 restrictions, on November 28.
Last week, Makerere administrators in various schools met to discuss ways of reopening to finalists. The earlier plan was to resume learning remotely.
But with Museveni allowing finalists to return to class, Makerere now has to work on modalities for residents and non-residents.
The university will have residents in the seven halls while others will stay outside campus, only coming to campus for lectures.
“This is because as much as we wanted all students to be in our halls of residence, but the halls cannot accommodate the entire number because we have a capacity of only 6,000 students and final year students are more than 10,000,” explained Prof Nawangwe.
International students will be allowed to return to campus provided they test 72 hours before travelling to Uganda.
Nawangwe says Makerere is in talks with Ministry of Health (MoH) regarding the issue of Covid19 case management.
The university wants MoH to allow them to treat all students who will catch Covid19 at the University Hospital.
Noting that “there is a requirement that there must be special facilities” for a hospital to qualify as a Covid19 treatment centre, Nawangwe said “we believe that we can put these facilities in place to be able to manage the cases.”