Uganda on Monday ended the world’s longest recorded school closure, ordering millions of students to return to classrooms after nearly two years without lessons due to the outbreak.
Nearly 15 million Ugandan students have not attended school since March 2020 when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Education Minister John Muyingo has indicated that all students will resume their studies one year above the level they were at when the schools closed.
“All schools have put in place very strict protocols and operating procedures to ensure that children can return to school safely,” he told AFP.
However, children’s rights groups have criticized the decision to keep schools partially or completely closed for 83 weeks, the longest suspension recorded worldwide during the pandemic.
The NGO Save the Children notes that students will find it difficult to adapt and has warned that dropout rates may rise in the coming weeks.
Uganda has recorded 153,762 cases of Covid-19 and 3,339 deaths, according to the latest government data released on January 7.
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