The government has released a new school calendar that will spill over into next year following President Museveni's guidance for education institutions to open in a phased and safe manner.
According to Mr Alex Kakooza, the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, schools will start on October 15 for the second term and close in mid-December while the third term will begin in mid-January and end in April.
“We are just trying to reopen. We cannot guarantee that children will not get sick. But education is a shared responsibility. All of us are expected to join hands and see how it works. Ensure that you wash hands regularly, don’t touch in the soft parts because the virus might be here for three years,” Mr Kakooza said.
Mr Kakooza appealed to the public to support the government as they experiment with the phased reopening.
Meanwhile, the government is considering the automatic promotion of non-candidate students to the next class when schools fully reopen in 2021 based on assessment of the knowledge they will have acquired during home-based learning.
According to the State Minister of Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, if schools are not reopened for other learners this year, they will be promoted automatically to the next class when they resume next year.
“Should the situation dictate that learners will be learning from home by the end of the academic year as we give out the calendar, we have prepared materials for self-study to enable them learn all that they should learn by the end of the year from home,” Mr Muyingo said.
“We shall be monitoring how these learners are being taught on radio and television. The moment we realize that they have been able to learn effectively at home what they should learn for a year, then they will qualify for automatic promotion.”
Mr Muyingo was leading a team from the Ministry of Education that included the Permanent Secretary, Mr Alex Kakooza, and the director for basic and secondary education, Mr Ismail Mulindwa, to meet MPs on the Education Committee to update them on the reopening of schools for candidates and final-year students in universities and other tertiary institutions.