Education Minister Janet Museveni says schools will remain closed as it is now wise to re-open them while the Covid-19 pandemic is still with us.
“We have continued to observe trends within the country and listened to lessons from other countries. What we are learning from our local trends of Covid-19 as well as experiences from countries that had closed but later re-opened institutions of learning, is that we need to exercise patience and self-restraint on the matter of normal resumption of institutions of learning,” Janet said during an address to the nation on Friday evening via UBC.
President Yoweri Museveni had earlier said candidate classes would reopen on June 4, but the decision was reversed. Now, Education Minister Janet Museveni who is also the First Lady says that it is not yet safe for even candidate classes to re-open.
Ms Museveni said that schools cannot re-open dur to overcrowding yet the major guideline to avert the spread of the virus is to social distance.
“In the pre-primary, primary, and secondary levels of education, there is over-crowding due to high enrolment levels. In addition, the majority of our institutions of learning at all levels of our education system have boarding facilities; of which, most of them are congested,” she said.
“Besides these, the learners in our institutions are not necessarily from the community around the institution. We have learners who have to move across geographical regions of the country to their Institutions of learning. These characteristics are unique to us as a country; and therefore, whatever measures we come up with to keep our Learners safe, we have to do so in light of our context,” she said.
She said that at the moment, learners will continue learning from their homes through radio, televesion and printed materials that have been distributed to “25 percent of the learners.”
“The effectiveness of this home-schooling approach we are utilizing is a shared responsibility if our learners are to get the most out of it. As a parent, take the effort to find out when the lessons are broadcasting on the radio or TV stations, if you are not available for that one hour, have another responsible older sibling or adult in the home be with the child as they listen to the lessons.”
Ms Museveni also said government has not prohibited e-learning. On the contrary, the ministry is putting forward a comprehensive sector-wide plan.