Uganda: Schools to Reopen for Candidates

(file photo).
8 September 2020

Government has okayed all schools to reopen for candidate classes, universities and other tertiary institutions for all final year students starting September 20.

There has been confusion in the public on whether government has cleared only finalists undertaking medical courses as proposed by the national Covid-19 taskforce last week or all candidates in all schools, irrespective of their courses.

Senior presidential adviser on epidemics, Dr Monica Musenero, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the meeting between the national Covid-19 taskforce and President Museveni on September 1, okayed the reopening of schools for all candidates --Primary Seven, Senior Four, Senior Six and finalist students in universities and other tertiary institutions.

Dr Musenero said all schools with candidate classes and finalists are free to reopen starting September 20, provided they have fulfilled the Covid-19 guidelines set for reopening of the education institutions.

"Schools are allowed to reopen for all candidate classes but on different dates. Schools that will meet the standard operating procedures that have been put in place by the government will be allowed to reopen," Dr Musenero said.

Ms Janet Museveni, the Minister of Education, on September 2 wrote to the Minister of Finance to release capitation grants for Third Term to enable schools prepare for reopening of candidate classes.

"It has been brought to my attention that the capitation grants for Third Term 2020 were not released to the schools in July, due to the fact that the institutions were still closed," Ms Museveni said in her letter.

"On account of the position taken in the above stated meeting, this is therefore to request you to cause the release of funds to the beneficiary schools to prepare for the phased reopening of schools," the letter further reads.

Another September 1 letter from the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) said institutions with finalists undertaking medical courses were cleared to reopen on September 28.

"The government of the Republic of Uganda has addressed itself to the fact that medical health interns provide significant services in hospitals and other health facilities.

"It has been noted that the current interns will complete their programmes soon and a new team would ordinarily be expected to take over from them and if intern students are not allowed, there will be a gap," the letter from NCHE executive director, Prof Mary Okwakol, notes.

Finalists offering Bachelors in Medical Surgery, Dental Surgery, Midwifery, Nursing, Pharmacy and Allied Medical Professionals were cleared to reopen.

Others include finalists undertaking diploma in different disciplines and postgraduate students on health related programmes.

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