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Students all across the country are tirelessly looking forward to when schools and Universities will be re-opened following close to 4 months of closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, Fagil Mandy, a Consultant on Inspection – Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and former Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) Chairman, has a different view in regards to the status of the pending academic year.

In an interview, the educationist expressed his mind on the fate of the 2020 academic year that has been severely injured by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the learning can wait as long as health comes a top priority and that the scholars need not to worry about a dead year.

“I do not agree that we should just send children back to school. Apart from distancing, wearing masks and social distancing, we do not know so much about COVID-19. We should not worry about a dead year provided we are safe.” He said.

Mandy further explains that education is more than just classroom alone, but having survival skills in a life post-classroom.

“Education means having survival skills. Your teenager child should be able to listen to you. Persuade and get them to listen to you” he says, advising parents.

Fagil’s opinion attracted mixed reactions some of which, criticize him for thinking in a ‘one-way direction’ because, according to them, he does not consider other stakeholders in the education sector such as private school teachers and non-teaching staff who have been severely pressed financially for the past 3 months when schools were closed.

Meanwhile, the government is in a move to assess universities’ readiness to fully embrace online learning which according to them, could be the only option left if learning is to continue amidst the pandemic.


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Martin T.

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