The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) yesterday revealed that President Museveni authorized the re-opening of institutions only for students pursuing courses that are health-related (medical) which is subsequently going to happen this month.
However, there has since, been mixed reaction and public uproar most especially amongst the students who are still locked out of schools, some of who say, the move to open of medical finalists alone is unfair and under looks other diversities of studies and sectors in the academia.
The decision to open for medical final year students came after a series of meetings and consultations between the national COVID-19 taskforce, President Museveni and the Education Ministry.
The national covid-19 taskforce advised Museveni against reopening schools citing that it’s still too early to do so for the fact that the country is still dealing with a rapidly increasing number of the Coronavirus infections which have now jumped into the communities. The country’s total number of confirmed cases crossed the 3000 mark on Sunday.
Secondly, taskforce points out the inability of schools across the country to implement the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as advised by the health ministry in July. This they say, would incur very high costs which many schools practically cannot to afford.
The taskforce also looks at this matter from the COVID-19 curve point of view, saying it is not recommendable to reopen schools before the curve flattens which is a clear indicator that the country is still in a red zone.
All these recommendations note the high numbers of learners in schools, which will make it difficult to fully protect them from the Coronavirus.
The re-opening for final year students pursuing medical-related courses, as announced yesterday, was justified on grounds that it would save the country from a huge human resource gap in the Health sector if this year’s finalists had not sat for their final exams.
The President is expected to formally address the nation soon, on a conclusive decision on schools (other classes) and status of easing the lockdown on other sectors of the economy such as bars, churches among others.