Ministry of Education Sets Reopening Dates for Non-candidates

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The Ministry of Education and Sports has announced dates for reopening of schools for non-candidates.

The announcement comes a week after Cabinet Okayed the reopening of schools, eleven-months after they were closed following the outbreak of covid-19 disease.    

According to the circular issued on February 9th by the Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza, pre- candidates in P.7, S.3, and S.6 will report back to school on March 1 and study for 14 weeks before breaking off on May 2021.     

P.4 and P.5 will report to school on April 6 after Primary Leaving Examination and will study for 8 weeks and break off June 21 to allow lower primary classes to report and use the school facilities.  P.1, P.2 and P.3 learners will report back on June 7, study for eight weeks which will end on July 24.

At the secondary level, S.1 students will resume their studies on April 12 covering 14 weeks up to July 3. Learners in S.2 two will start on May 31 studying for 10 weeks up to July 24. 

 For universities and other tertiary institutions, the ministry notes that they will start face to face sessions on March 1.

 “Face to face sessions should be conducted in shifts and should be prioritized for courses units that require practical hands-on and laboratory work,” the circular adds.    

However, Benson Kule Babitazare, the overall leader of the school reopening and inspection team, notes that no school will be allowed to reopen without meeting the minimum standards.

Babitazare also notes that soon the department of education standards will be re-inspecting schools thus tasking them to ensure that they put all the requirements in place.   

“Now that school knows that they are going to reopen, they should organize themselves and set up everything required. Soon we will be inspecting schools. Those who will fail to meet the minimum standards will not reopen,” says Babitazare.  

When the government was reopening schools for candidate classes and finalists, they issued Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs that required educational institutions to among other things set up WASH facilities, maintenance of two-meter distance between learners, ensuring good ventilation. Schools were also asked to operate either as day or boarding but not both.   

However, headteachers note that although the circular indicating the reopening is out, there is a need for the ministry to release the awaited updated Standard Operating Procedure-SOPs to understand what will be required of them.    

Babitazare notes that as schools wait for the ministry of education and its health counterpart to issued updated SOPs, they should prepare according to the information they already have.

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