Education Ministry extends third term opening date for candidate classes

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The Ministry of Education has extended the schools opening date for the third term for finalists and learners in candidate classes due to the scheduled general elections.

According to the revised school calendar, the school term which was scheduled to start on January 11, 2021, will now start on January 18, 2021, a few days after the general election. Ugandans will go to the polls on January 14, 2021 to vote for a President, Members of Parliament and district leaders.

Alex Kakooza, the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary says the change has been made to enable teachers, students and staff working in different educational institutions to participate in the voting.

Teachers and other staff in schools are usually appointed electoral officials to manage the voting process, which makes it difficult for them to be expected in class at the same time. Also, many schools are designated polling stations, meaning the teaching and learning process could be interrupted.

Another source at the education ministry who preferred anonymity says that the one-week extension was made as a precaution to keep learners safe during the election process.

“Elections are scheduled for January 14th. To be on the safe side and make sure that all learners are safe, we decided to extend the dates so that older students like those from universities who might be caught up in the election are kept safe,” the source said.

However, the permanent secretary says the change in opening dates will neither affect the designated duration of the third term nor Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) and other national examinations.

“The examinations will start and end on the already communicated dates. The one week delay should not cause any problems with the examinations and the term,” he emphasized.

According to the UNEB timetable, examinations are scheduled to begin on February 26, 2021, with the briefing of senior four candidates, and after that Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE examinations will commence the following week on March 1 running up to April 6, 2021. Other candidates at primary and A’level will start their examinations with a briefing on March 26 and April 9 respectively.

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