Schools opened for the term today in line with the National Education Institutions calendar. But school administrators say that majority of the learners have remained home today, although it is not yet clear if the no-show is a result of school fees or a heavy downpour witnessed in several parts of the country.
“The Children who got pregnant, we are going to discuss with the Bishops and other religious leaders. We shall find a solution for them. There are some arguments, should the child go to school with visible pregnancy? That one I will discuss with Cabinet first and other people,” Museveni said in part.
According to data from the health ministry, only 775 schools (approximately 2.5 per cent) out of an estimated 30,519 that are registered with the Ministry of Education and Sports, are reporting COVID-19 surveillance numbers.
Many of these learners had studied for only two weeks before schools were closed again following a reported rise in COVID-19 cases, in June last year. They had already paid school fees for the term that never was, and at the time, parents were told that the money would be carried forward.
Anent Mulindwa, a parent of five, says that she can now breathe a sigh of relief that children are returning to school after a long period. "My youngest daughter has not been to school for two years. She was in P.2 when schools closed. I was wondering whether she will ever go back to school," the thrilled parent noted.
Archbishop Kazimba says there’s a need for counseling so that learners and teachers can be re-oriented into schools. He says teachers need to be taught how to handle for instance pregnant learners and those who have given birth.
According to the new schools and another institution calendar, all primary and secondary schools will be re-opened on January 10 after close to two years of closure as one of the measures announced by the government to control the spread of COVID-19.
The first term of school will start on January 10 and run up to Apirl 15, of the same year. Learners will then break off for three weeks and return for second term on May 9 which will also end on August 12. The third term is scheduled to start on September 5 and run into December 9.