By Spy Uganda
Kampala: His Excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa, the re-elected 2021-2026 Ugandan President will Wednesday (tomorrow) announce cabinet’s take on closed schools on whether they should remain closed or whether they should open. The closure was imposed on account of deadly COVID-19 in March last year.
The development comes after a cabinet meeting that sat yesterday (Monday) to consider various options on the above subject that left both scientists and Ministry of Education officials divided on the matter,others supporting the continued closure while others urging Government to open.
While education technocrats had proposed that all learners return to school, scientists under the national Covid-19 taskforce said it was risky at the moment and appealed that they wait until they have been vaccinated.
Mr Alex Kakooza, Ministry of Education permanent secretary, said that the President would make his final say tomorrow (Wednesday).
“Wait for the announcement on Wednesday,” he said, adding that President Museveni would clear the air on the matter.
But teachers under their umbrella, Uganda National Teachers’ Union said their earlier discussions with scientists was not achievable with the latter insisting on waiting for vaccines to reduce coronavirus transmission among learners.
“President Museveni is obsessed with scientists. Can they vaccinate all children in school? They have failed to test them. How can they afford to vaccinate them? They should now start reopening schools even if it’s to add on a few classes. You can’t reopen markets, arcades, public transport, churches and keep schools closed. The children are everywhere. What are we shielding them from?” Mr Filbert Baguma, the UNATU general secretary, asked.
The Ministry of Health earlier said they expect the first batch of vaccine between May and June.
They have budgeted for only nine million people with priority on frontline health workers, elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Education statistics show that more than 15 million learners were sent home in March last year following the coronavirus outbreak.
Candidate classes have since been allowed to report back and the date of the other classes remains unclear until tomorrow when the President announces government plan.
Already, the Ministry of Health has reported a decline in Covid-19 cases last month contrary to earlier projections because of the election season.
But Dr Monica Musenero, the lead epidemiologist, said they should not take the country’s strides in the fight against the scourge lightly because they have had to take stringent measures which they would not want to lose at the last minute.