Education Standards director Dr. Kedress Turyagyenda has revealed that 2021 will not be a dead year for learners.
Learners have been home for the last one year and a half after the closure of all educational institutions due to the lockdown that was instituted last year to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.
However, Dr. Turyagyenda says learners and guardians should not lose hope adding that the Ministry of Education has planned well laid out on how schools will reopen.
Dr. Turyagyenda made these remarks while appearing on NBS Morning Breeze, Wednesday morning.
“All of us are anxious, but one by one, we are moving forward. Don’t worry; the plan will be released, when it is released, we shall work with all our partners to effect it. It will not be a dead year,” Dr. Turyagyenda said.
“The medical schools will be opening hopefully before the end of this month. We (Ministry of Education) also have a concrete plan for the rest,” she added.
President Museveni in his televised address last month said that schools will only reopen when a substantial number of children between the ages of 12-18 have been vaccinated and this has drawn a lot of uncertainty among different stakeholders on when this will be achieved since a smaller population has been vaccinated so far.
Dr. Turyagyenda however said that with the inadequacy of vaccines in the country, especially that which is safe for children, the Education Ministry is now looking at vaccinating teachers.
“We are not receiving enough vaccines, but we are looking at prioritizing teachers in the vaccination process,” Dr. Turyagyenda added.
Over the past few weeks, a number of politicians, civil society groups and a section of the public have urged government to reopen schools, citing a number of challenges that the country might face in the Education sector.
Opposition strongman Dr. Kizza Besigye recently said that it is ‘catastrophic’ to keep education institutions closed because it will create a gap that could be irreplaceable.
Dr. Turyagyenda said that these should all be patient because the ministry has a plan and they are studying the COVID-19 situation in the country before a decision is made.
“The reopening plan is there from the Ministry of Education, but we are do not control the processes that follow because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
Initially, the president had placed a 42 day lockdown and even when this was eased, schools remained closed. The president said that a substantial population has to be vaccinated for these to re-open.
Only about 1.2 million people have so face been vaccinated in the country, according to Ministry of Health data.