The government has set March 1, 2021 as the return date for students in P.6, S. 3 and S.5, as well as for all students in tertiary institutions, President Museveni has said.
While updating the country on the Coronavirus situation in the country, Museveni said Schools will reopen for 1.7 million semi-candidate class learners all as well as for tertiary and university students in a phased manner.
“We have now decided to open for the semi candidate classes. Students in S.5, S.3, and P.6 are the next category because the other ones (candidates) are going to finish,” Museveni said.
Museveni added that the ministry of health will come up with mechanisms to determine how the rest of the learners ranging from P.1 to P. 5 and S.1 and S.2 will learn before the vaccines are introduced.
The president added however that the pre-primary sections eg nursery learners will have to wait for the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine the government is working on.
“We are preparing to start vaccination in March. We are going to receive 3.5 million vaccines from COVAX (WHO) facility. We are also arranging to bring vaccines from India, about 18 million doses to vaccinate 9 million people,” he said.
In March last year, President Museveni ordered for the closure of all schools and education institutions in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
However on Oct. 15, he ordered for the reopening of schools for about 1.3 million candidates and tertiary and university finalists to complete their studies.
Museveni said the approach of closing schools in March last year was a wise decision that has greatly paid off since the number of students infected during that period is small.
“Since we opened for candidate classes it is now 3 months. Out of 1.3 million learners, only 257 have reported with COVID-19 and nobody has died. That was a success as a result of a calculated risk, you can therefore see it was a good decision although some people were confusing us to play around with fire which we refused,” he said.
On the issue of universities, he said they will also reopen in March but noted this will also be done in a staggered manner.
“The universities and tertiary institutions will open in March in a staggered way, the good thing the universities are already teaching online,” he said.
For the fate of non semi candidate classes, he said when candidate classes have left school on April, 6, the Ministry of Health will work out a plan to see how other learners in P.1, P2, P3,P4, P5,S1, and S2 can resume studies but in a staggered manner.