By Associate Professor Mesharch Katusiimeh (PhD)
Your Excellency, managing the economy during the COVID19 pandemic has not been easy but you have done very well in the circumstances. Your tireless efforts in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in Uganda has been recognized at home and abroad.
You decided ‘to err on the side of caution’ and that is why Uganda is among the countries that have recorded low numbers of death from COVID19. This is a result of your guidance and the national response strategy that included early closure of schools among other interventions.
However, I am worried and compelled to raise concerns about the continued closure of schools. Your decision not to fully open schools for close to 2 years continues to baffle Ugandans. Lately, the reason for not re-opening schools was explained by the Minister of Education and Sports (MOES) Maama Janet Museveni on her official twitter handle, asking parents to be patient as the government handles the vaccination of the vulnerable groups and students aged 18 and above. In her own words, she said “If the children, on the other hand, infect their parents, as most of them are day scholars, they would become orphans just like HIV/AIDS did to many families. We were left with many child-headed families in Uganda at that time.”
This seems the current official position. The statement by Maama Janet Museveni instead of calming down the situation worsened matters with Ugandans coming up with various conspiracy theories to explain why government is not opening schools.
One of the theories gaining traction is that the NRM government doesn’t prioritize education. They even claim that the budget for the education sector except for paying salaries of teachers and staff at education institutions has been diverted to other ‘priority’ sectors. Mainstream media is now reporting that government has allowed primary and secondary