Kampala, October 15th (EFE). Ugandan colleges, institutes and universities reopened their doors today to students who were on their way to the next educational stage before classes were cut seven months ago, which was adopted as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Last March, the government’s decision to temporarily close all schools in Uganda, one of the youngest countries in the world, with an average age of 15.9, affected more than 15 million students, according to official figures.
“The last few months have been very difficult for families who have delivered their children at home despite the fact that many of them have lost their livelihoods, and for the teachers who have not received their salaries for a long time,” he said. Today Evie Osset Celestini, a math teacher working at a public school in Gulu (North).
Although not all students returned to school, the partial reopening of schools in Uganda was cheerfully received by teachers, welcoming their students with masks, thermometers and antiseptic gels.
The government of Uganda has published a series of requirements and security measures that all educational centers must adhere to to prevent the development of the coronavirus, including integrating handwashing facilities and purchasing handgun thermometers.
“We are working hard to put all the security measures in place. We are happy for our students, but we are also worried that we do not want anyone to get sick,” Celestine said.
The Ministry of Education this week invested 52,000 million shillings (about 12 million euros) to support students returning to classrooms and acquiring new materials, but teachers regret that much of this money has not yet reached the rural areas, where the needs are. enormous.
According to UNATU Secretary Philbert Bajuma, “At least 30% of schools still do not meet the requirements for reopening.”
Although Uganda was one of the first African countries to promote free and compulsory primary and secondary education, these programs, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have not achieved much improvement in school quality, and dropout is rampant.
Uganda, which was also one of the first countries in Africa to implement measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, is working to phase out these restrictions.
Uganda International Airport and its borders are closed from March 23 until the first day.
Mass gatherings are still prohibited across the country, and there is a curfew from nine in the evening to 5.30 in the morning, and religious centers cannot open their doors until September 27.
And the authorities have warned during the past months of a huge increase in injuries, although it is still relatively low, with 10,069 injuries and 95 deaths. EFE