By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo has revealed that continuing students will resume classes as soon as the festive season is done.
Muyingo made the remarks while attending Christmas prayers in Kampala yesterday. According to Muyingo, the ministry will use the days after the festive season to determine dates based on compiled reports from field inspectors.
“Our inspectors have been in the field trying to access how well we are prepared to receive these big numbers of students, so after Christmas, we shall be studying these reports from inspectors and a communication will be made shortly,” Muyingo said.
Once allowed to proceed, these will join candidates who have been at school for the last two months and are expected to sit for their final examinations in March 2021.
Already tentative dates of Jan 12th have been set aside for continuing students but this has not been confirmed officially by the ministry.
However, Ismail Mulindwa, who chairs the Ministry’s Covid-19 taskforce, early this month revealed that while they had planned for the candidates to report back on January 11 for the third term, this will be extended by a week to allow learners of voting age participate in the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for January 14 further expressing hope that life could return to normal soon with reports of Covid-19 vaccines and treatment.
“It’s a tricky situation. How do we move these other students without freeing other classes? We are also thinking of automatic promotion. But these are my views. The President has hinted at it before. We don’t want to jam the system,” Mr Mulindwa said.
Alex Kakooza, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, said they will only confirm how many classes to include on after an assessment.
“We are going to assess how schools managed the candidate classes. This report will direct us on what to do next. Give us some time,” Mr Kakooza said.
Mulindwa further advised parents not to worry and succumb to school threats to pay fees for services they have not received. He said the government would take a decision that takes care of all the concerns.
“What if the government declares a dead year? What if they declare automatic promotion? What will happen? Every school must work within the policies and guidance being given not to cause anxiety among stakeholders. We have told them this many times,” Mr. Mulindwa said.
It’s worth noting that in October, It was also established that while National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) completed the development of e-learning materials, they have not been distributed to the learners in their homes over lack of funds.
Schools were closed in March following the outbreak of coronavirus and the ministry of education and sports later proposed a phased reopening starting with candidate classes who reported on October 15 with the hope that the situation will get better to allow continuing students to report back to schools.