Non finalists to return to school on March 1

The president noted that other sectors which are still closed like the bars, will be considered for opening when the country gets a vaccine.

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President Museveni has announced semi- candidate classes will open on March 1, 2021 to continue their studies.

The president made the announcement while addressing the nation on the current status of the Covid-19 pandemic at state house Nakasero, Kampala on Thursday evening.

” After carefully analysing the Covid-19 situation, we have now decided to open for the ‘next’ candidate classes. These are Primary 6, Senior 3, and Senior 5. These will report on March 1, 2021,” he said.

Mr Museveni said the fate of the other classes will be decided in April when all candidates have finished writing their exams.
“From April 6, after the candidate classes have gone away, we shall announce the detailed program for the rest of the learners who are in the lower classes. We are organising this in a way that a group of students come and go away and then others also come in,” the president added.

In the same address, the president said universities and tertiary institutions will be allowed to re- open to non finalists but partially as well.

“Universities and tertiary institutions will open in March in a staggered way. At least those ones have the capacity to study online, apart from the ones doing science courses who may need to come and do practicals,” said Mr Museveni.

He revealed that the academic year 2020 will end in July 2021.

The president noted that other sectors which are still closed like the bars, will be considered for opening when the country gets a vaccine.

“We are putting much effort into getting the Covid-19 vaccine. We are preparing to start the vaccinations at the end of February or early March. We shall get 3.5 million dozes from Covax facility. We are also going to buy about 18 million dozes directly from India. We shall start with the health workers, security personnel, teachers, and then the elders,” he said.

The address followed a cabinet meeting held on Monday this week that discussed and made recommendations on how academic institutions will operate again after a long period of time.

What the cabinet recommend:

(i) That the Education Institutions be allowed to open for non-candidate classes in a staggered manner that will ensure compliance with COVID 19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and safety.

(ii) That the pre-primary schools should not be re-opened because Learners in this category cannot observe the SOPs and are prone to respiratory infections including COVID-19 and in addition, most of the pre-primary schools are day and therefore, there is a lot of interface between the Learners, Teachers and Parents hence increasing the risk of infection.

(iii) The Leadership of the Ministries of: Education and Sports; and Health will undertake a countrywide tour of schools and Institutions to ascertain their preparedness to reopen for non-candidate classes.

(iv) In order to complete the academic year and ensure progression, the semi-candidate classes (P6, S3 and S5) should report back to school in the short term and study (in shifts where necessary) with the Candidate classes.

(v) Given that PLE will be completed on 31st March, 2021 and UCE on 6th April, 2021, there will be more space in schools, when candidates leave, to enable the other classes report back and study to complement home schooling.

(vi) For the classes studying in shifts, Teachers will be guided to work through the home-schooling materials with a view of explaining and clarifying concepts and correcting self-study work done by Learners at home.

(vii) Promotion to the next class will be based on attendance and continuous assessment of class work and assignments.

(viii) The Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institutions, Primary Teachers’ Colleges (PTCs) and National Teachers’ Colleges (NTCs) should also open in the short term provided they are able to observe the SOPs.

(ix) Primary Teachers’ Colleges and National Teachers’ Colleges have the infrastructure capacity for the number of students enrolled to observe the social distancing requirement.