Uganda lawmakers ask gov’t to declare 2020 ‘dead’ year for education

Members of Parliament want the government to declare 2020 a dead year for education because of the increasing cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

While meeting the members of the Uganda Vice Chancellors Forum today, members of the National Economy committee of Parliament said that even though schools were to resume, it would be impossible to complete the syllabus and actually achieve what was to be attained in a full educational year.

Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri says the problem with allowing candidate classes to resume and sit for examinations is that it will clog the entire system since non-candidates will not have progressed to the next classes.

He says there is also a problem of people who are studying online who cannot be assessed equally with those in rural areas. He has proposed that the government should consider this year a dead and every student will be on par to resume next year.

Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa says that the government should forget about education this year and resume next year after adequate planning. He says personally he will not allow his children to go back to school even if the government opens saying the preference is to keep them safe.

Okupa says although institutions need money to run and need parents to pay fees, the lives of students should be more important.

Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu also questioned if the institutions can survive if they are to open in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that hostels and classrooms are too crowded to apply social distancing. He cites developments in Britain where schools have been closed after failing to meet social distancing guidelines.

Committee chair Syda Bbumba says that according to Centre for Disease Control, high-risk areas include schools and hostels among others.


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