KAMPALA — Education Minister Janet Museveni has dropped a stinging bombshell to learners, saying her through her ministry is still uncertain when schools will reopen.
Addressing journalists at the release of Primary Leaving Examination results on Friday, Mrs. Museveni said that it is premature to start discussing school reopening when coronavirus cases are still surging.
“I do not want to talk about something we are not confident about. The decision of closing or reopening schools is not made by my ministry alone. The decisions can only be made by the government after they have been discussed by Cabinet,” Mrs. Museveni said.
She added: “It is premature to say we will open at this time. To me, I cannot say there is a time we shall open, but in the near future, we shall. We should all be patient,” she added.
After the closure of educational institutions was announced, the education ministry made tentative adjustments to the school calendar.
At that time, schools were expected to reopen on July 19 to enable learners to complete their respective syllabi before being promoted to the next classes.
This arrangement was cut short when the President declared a fresh 42-days lockdown on June 18.
Sources at the Ministry of Education note that they have been discussing possible situations of reopening schools but they are yet to conclude.
Currently, there are concerns from parents, school owners, educationists, and learners alike that the more the ministry delays in making decisions and developing plans for reopening, the more the sector will be affected.
The system is getting clogged with candidates being passed on to the next level of education yet those in the next classes have not been promoted. For instance, with PLE results released, the 2020 candidates have been promoted to S.1 but those currently in the class have only spent a few weeks in school with most of them not even covering half of the syllabus.
As a tentative solution, Mrs Museveni notes that parents should embrace home-schooling as the ministry looks at the possible plan.
She further adds that if home schooling is embraced, the ministry will be sending materials to all learners.