SCHOOL REOPENING: JANET MUSEVENI TALKS AUTOMATIC PROMOTION, TELLS THOSE DISAPPOINTED IN HER MINISTRY ‘GOVT DIDN’T BRING COVID19’
By Mulengera Reporter
First Lady and Education Minister Janet Kataaha Museveni has responded to a number of questions social media users have raised on the recently announced plan to reopen schools to candidate class students and finalists.
In his 20th Coronavirus address delivered at the weekend, President Yoweri Museveni allowed schools to reopen to 1.2 of the 15 million learners, and his wife Janet’s Education Ministry released a revised calendar that shows the schedule for Second and Third terms as well as examination dates. But these have raised more questions, which the Bazukkulu raised via the Minister social media pages, demanding answers and clarifications on reopening and the fate of non-candidate classes which have not been cleared to return to education institutions.
In her response on selected questions, Janet Museveni told Ugandans who expressed disappointment in the way her Ministry and the Government her husband heads had handled the issue of reopening that the whole nation – government and the citizens – were in all this together since it is not the Museveni administration that created Covid19. “I am Sorry, the Government did not create Covid19 so let us all try to do what we can. The government is only trying to save the situation,” she responded to a follower who told her many schools may not be able to reopen due to financial constraints, and would even lose their properties if they got loans – because they were likely to default.
On why government had not declared a dead year since students have already missed a lot of time, the First Lady said government had “considered declaring a dead year but realized, even next year COVID-19 may still be here, therefore, we decided to at least let the candidate classes go back late but prepare to finish. I request that you partner with us.” There are even some who wondered why reopening wasn’t halted until the election season was over, but the Minister said it was very possible to do both education and politics as has been the case before.
She was also asked what, then, would be the fate of non-candidates since these will have to wait until government thinks it is safe for them to return to classes, yet those who will have passed their candidate class examinations will need to join the next level whose current occupants had only studied for less than a term when schools were closed. In response, Ms Museveni revealed that home schooling would continue and learners would be promoted to the next class. “We are continuing with learning at home for S.1 to S.5 when S.6 moves on then S.5 will move to S.6 and when S.4 moves away S.1 and others all move on automatically,” she explained.
There were also concerns on how parents who work in bars and other places which Museveni is yet to reopen will be able to pay school fees for their children in candidate classes. Here, the Minister called for concerted efforts and a positive attitude, emphasizing that the current Covid19 crisis was inevitable. She said: “Schools are opening because there are many who want schools to open, please do understand that Government did not close these businesses in bad faith, it was to save the lives of many. And yes, many lack money but they have life.”
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