The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education has demanded all teachers in Uganda to undergo Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing before they resume teaching.
During his National Address on COVID-19 on September 20th, 2020, President Yoweri Museveni announced that schools, universities and tertiary institutions would reopen on October 15th, 2020, to allow learners in candidate classes (P.7, S4, S.6) and finalists to complete their studies.
However, we have learnt that the Ministry of Education and that of Health have issued a number of stringent Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for all teachers in Uganda and owners of schools in Uganda.
Top among the SOPs is that all teachers in Uganda must present to school administrators certificates indicating that they tested negative COVID-19.
The Ministries also tasked school administrators to ensure that there is social distancing among learners, reason why only candidate classes and finalists have been allowed to return to education institutions.
The Minister for Education Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni, who is also the First Lady, noted that where possible, school administrators are advised to inculcate learners who can study online from the safety of their homes into their online study programs.
This means that there will be no Dead Year for any learner because learning can continue at home for students who are not candidates or finalists.
“This is now a revised Education institutions calendar; it is the second term that we are going into on October 1. In brief, however, term two will end in December, Term Three will run from January 2021 to April, when all the candidates will have completed sitting the national examinations,” Janet Kataha Museveni said.
“We have tasked the National Council for Higher Education to work with the universities to come up with a workable proposal for quality-assured online learning that, at the same time, ensure equitable access for all,” she added.
The Minister also revealed that “If a COVID-19 case were to be confirmed in a school, the health ministry and the district taskforce will assess the situation and work with the school management to determine the best course of action.”
The Ministry also requires all private and public school owners to meet costs of putting in place safety equipment like temperature guns, masks, handwashing spots, etc. at their premises.
It should be noted that the total number of finalist in Uganda stands at 1.2million learners out of the total of 15 million, which is less than 10%.