Homeschooling Hits Uganda during lockdown Mukalele Rogers
Homeschooling in Uganda as COVID-19 Lockdown Is Extended for More 14 Days. PHOTO/Mukalele Rogers

Homeschooling in Uganda as COVID-19 Lockdown Is Extended for More 14 Days

If you’re one of the parents who were tired of homeschooling and eagerly waiting for Uganda to reopen schools, tighten your belt and up your homeschooling game. This is after President Museveni extended lockdown to the 19th of May, 2020.

While addressing the nation in a live televised broadcast, His Excellency Yoweri Museveni said it was rather unwise to reopen schools when public transport remains closed.

Museveni further cited congestion in boarding schools which, he said, would aid the rapid spread of Covid-19. He also expressed concern over the majority of schools which are day schools, thus exposing students to the spread of COVID-19.

This development has left parents, especially those with candidates baffled and wondering whether their children will be able to sit national examinations at the end of the year.

UNEB suspended the registration of candidates after the declaration of the lockdown. Registration of candidates was set to commence in early April.

Ugandan schools have been closed since 20th of March, 2020. The Ministry of Education and Sports had earlier anticipated opening schools on the 27th of April. This turned futile as the lockdown was extended to the 5th of May.

Homeschooling Hits Uganda during lockdown Mukalele Rogers
Homeschooling in Uganda as COVID-19 Lockdown Is Extended for More 14 Days. PHOTO/Mukalele Rogers

As the expiration of the lockdown neared, some stakeholders in the education sector had started warming up in the hopes of opening schools mid-May, it dawned to them on Monday evening as Museveni extended the lockdown for more 14 days. The closure of schools is said to be biting hard in different ways.

While speaking to our reporters, various teachers in private schools who preferred anonymity said they haven’t received their salary for March and April.

School administrators and proprietors have decried lack of funds as their main source of income(school fees) was curtailed by the closure of schools with some pupils leaving with unpaid school dues.

The Ministry of Education and Sports recently kick-started a nationwide distribution of learning materials prepared by the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) for all classes.

Also, the ministry is running learning programs on selected radio and television stations across the country.

Other schools have resorted to the use of social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp to enable continuity of learning especially for candidates. Big schools like Kampala Parents’ School, Kampala Quality Primary School among others have been utilizing Facebook to stream lessons online.

According to our sources in the Ministry of Education and Sports, the ministry is drawing fresh arrangements for which may see the Ugandan school year change completely.

This will mean if Covid-19 pandemic subsides earlier in the year, the academic year could end in the first half of 2021.