In March 2020, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the closure of all education institutions following the outbreak of COVID-19 as a measure to prevent its spread.
In October last year, the government with the advice of the scientists opened candidate classes and finalists under strict observance of the COVID-19 Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs).
On Monday, the Cabinet approved phased reopening of schools with semi-candidate classes (Senior 3 and Senior 5 and Primary 6) effective March 2021 whereas other classes will be opened later during the course of the year.
However, the proprietors of private schools under their umbrella body – Nationals Private Education Institutions Association – suggest that all classes should be opened because the continuous closure of schools is impacting negatively on the learners, parents, and teachers psychologically, which will, in turn, degrade the quality of education in the country.
The in-charge of research in the association, Hasadu Kirabira said though the government is encouraging online learning, it has not been effective in most parts of the country due to the limited access to the internet especially in the rural areas to both the learners and the teachers.
“In Uganda, we don’t have qualified teachers of Information Technology,” he said.
Kirabira added that if the government wants to encourage online learning, it must provide laptops to all learners who are still at home plus cutting the cost of data