President Yoweri Museveni says government will decide on whether to reopen education institutions by September or declare a dead academic year, and support private schools and teachers.
Schools closed on March 20 as Museveni moved to prevent the spread of Covid19 a day before Uganda recorded her first case.
Secondary and primary school learners would ordinarily be in the middle of second term.
SEPTEMBER: DEAD ACADEMIC YEAR OR SCHOOL RESUMPTION
By the time government announces its final decision in September, schools will have lost two terms — with only third term left.
“Government will make a big decision before September,” said Museveni.
“I do not want to declare a dead year for now.”
Museveni was hopeful that Uganda would not be left behind as the world races to find a Covid19 vaccine or treatment.
“A lot of scientists are working on the vaccine and it may come sooner than later. Let us give it a month and focus on distance learning.”
He was hopeful that schools would reopen if Ugandan scientists or other countries’ found a vaccine or cure.
An earlier plan for reopening to candidates and finalists was halted after scientists advised against the proposal.
Education Minister and first lady Janet Museveni explained the schools’ reopening dilemma, okaying online classes.
The president has emphasized the adoption of distance learning through radios government will supply to each household. Museveni revealed the Ministry of Education and Sports had already secured funds to procure radios.
Recently, a section of MPs urged government to declare a dead academic year after an education ministry commissioner said reopening would require Shs 78 trillion.
LOANS, TOKENS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS, TEACHERS
The president also revealed the education ministry would come up with a relief package for private schools whose role in helping government provide education services he hailed.
He also acknowledged that private institutions were going through tough times, with some of the servicing loans and facing possible eviction from premises they rented to run schools.
Museveni suggested the servicing of private school loans through the Uganda Development Bank (UDB). He also proposed talks with landlords to be patient until the situation has normalized.
Government was also mulling over the idea of paying salaries to over 350,000 private school teachers, most of whom have gone without salaries since education institutions closed in March.
President Museveni donated Shs2bn to the private teachers’ Sacco.
More from Museveni’s Address