Ministry of Education PS Alex Kakooza answers critical questions on reopening schools for all learners

News guidelines on schools reopening

Education Minister Janet Museveni and PS Alex Kakooza (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA — The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports, Alex Kakooza has addressed a string of biting issues in the sector—describing as untrue, reports that government has allowed schools to reopen for all learners.

Mr. Kakooza in a social media post said Government has not yet agreed upon the re-opening of schools and Higher Institutions of learning for non – candidate classes.

PS Kakooza said the Ministry of Education will issue a formal communication when a decision is reached.

“Contrary to media reports, Government has not yet agreed upon the re-opening of schools and Higher Institutions of learning for non -candidate classes,” Mr. Kakooza wrote on Twitter .

Mr. Ismail Mulimdwa, the director of basic education last week said the Ministry was holding discussions with national taskforce on Covid-19 on the potential reporting date.

“We have not yet decided the exact date on when they will return. But its next month. We are still in discussions with health authorities,” he said, noting that the exact date will be communicated.

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Education Patrick Muinda said that the the decision to open schools for other learners will be communicated by the President.

Professor Mary J. N. Okwakol, the Executive Director, National Council for Higher Education said her council has received several requests from higher institutions of learning, requesting to open for all students.

She, however, says it all depends on resolutions that will come from the Ministry of Health, national COVID task force and the Ministry of Education and sports, in regards to opening up of Higher Institutions of learning in Uganda.

“The purpose of this communication is, therefore, to urge all Higher Education Institutions not to reopen until a decision of Government on this matter is communicated,” Prof. Okwakol wrote.

Early last year, school gates around the world slammed shut. Today, an astonishing 15 million young people in Uganda alone are staying home as part of broader shutdowns to protect people from the novel coronavirus.

Healthy officials say the drastic measures worked in many places, dramatically slowing the spread, the virus that causes COVID-19.

As schools resume, school officials worry some children might not return to class because their parents have not been working.

The Ministry of Education has set standards that schools must meet before they can admit students, most of whom could remain at home until as late as this year.

Schools must have enough hand-washing stations and enough room in classrooms and dorms for social distancing.

Although the pandemic has disrupted education around the world, the crisis is more acute in Africa, where up to 80% of students don’t have access to the internet and distance learning is out of reach for many.

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