There will be no dead year for any learner this year and the national examinations for primary and secondary school students will be done in March and April next year, New Vision reports.
The candidates and finalists reporting on October 15 will end their second term on December 18. This will be followed by third term beginning January 11 and closing on April 30, next year.
This was revealed by the First Lady and education minister, Mrs Janet Museveni, during an exclusive interview with Vision Group at Nakasero, yesterday.
She explained that learners in continuing classes, will be expected to keep home and revise; using live and recorded materials on the broadcast stations, recorded messages
on online platforms and the printed materials.
The First Lady noted that government is set to invest in all these platforms, to ensure all learners are reached, countrywide.
“When we have ascertained that it is safer and possible to get all the students back at school, they will report and get assessed by their teachers on what they have learnt while at home; which will form the basis for their promotion to the next class.
“There will be no dead year and we are doing all we can to ensure that all children learn, wherever they are,” she explained.
The First Lady added: “This revision should get learners to a level of achievement for promotion to the next class, if the situation does not warrant having them to go back to school before the end of the academic year.
However, progression shall be based on the evaluation of how effectively home- schooling has been implemented.”
The minister also noted that the Government plans to distribute nine million radios to various households around the country to enhance home- schooling.
“The special needs learners have also been taken care of when we were preparing the materials. Sign language lessons in all core subjects, braille and large print for the visually impaired in the primary section, has been completed, while adaptation for secondary materials has also started.”
International schools, she re-affirmed, are cleared to open since they follow an international academic calendar.
“However, they will have to provide the ministry with their study programmes, the numbers of learners in the school and the measures put in place to implement the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). They will also be inspected before they are allowed to reopen,” the First Lady said.
UNEB EXAMS PLAN SET
Mrs Museveni also revealed that Primary Leaving Examinations will be done on March 30 and 31 next year; Uganda Certificate of Education examinations will start on April 6 and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education Examinations will start on May 3 next year.
There are 13.8 million learners who will stay home after October 15, as other 1.2 million learners who are candidates and finalists report to school following President Yoweri Museveni’s announcement on Sunday about the re-opening.
During the interview, Mrs Museveni was flanked by the Permanent Secretary of the education ministry, Alex Kakooza, the director of basic and secondary education Hajji Ismail Mulindwa, the Uganda National Examinations Board’s Board’ s executive executive secretary, Dan Odongo and the commissioner for information and ICT, Patrick Muinda.
Others included Commissioner of Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Safina Musenne and the director of education standards at the ministry, Dr Kedrace Turyagenda.
Odongo explained the planned process for national examinations, saying: “We have proposed that if schools reopen on October 15, we will immediately start the process of registration of candidates.
“We are finalising the software that they need and by the time they go back to school, they should be able to start the process.”
He added: “We expect that this will take us five weeks, from October 15 and, by mid- November, the registration of candidates will be complete.
This will be followed by internal activities of UNEB and that will include the printing of the examinations.”
FREE MASKS FOR CANDIDATES, FINALISTS
Mrs Museveni, before the interview, read a statement to the nation and revealed that each candidate and finalist in private and public academic institutions will get free face masks.
“We are working with the Ministry of Health to distribute two standard face masks to each learner (candidate and finalist) in all educational institutions, both private and public, as they open,” she explained.
Besides, Mrs Museveni said the directorate of education standards under the education ministry, will work with local governments to inspect education institutions for their readiness to implement SOPs.
She also revealed that her ministry is working with that of finance, to ensure that government grant-aided schools get the relevant capitation grants to acquire basic facilities to implement the SOPs.
Mrs Museveni also advised Ugandans that the safety of school-going children in the country should be a joint responsibility of both the Government and parents.
She asked Ugandans to support the ministry in sensitising the public with accurate information on the government strategy for reopening of academic institutions and enhanced home-schooling programmes.
“Parents need to know that they have an important role to play in supporting homeschooling of their children,” she said.
Regarding the reopening of academic institutions, the First Lady and education minister, Mrs Janet Museveni, said her ministry has worked very closely with the health ministry and senior scientists on COVID-19 response to make the necessary preparations and that the new Standard Operating Procedures are also ready.
“The Ministry of Education and Sports consulted extensively with key stakeholders and developed guidelines for phased reopening of education institutions and a strategy for implementation,” she said.