The president’s directive during the Wednesday nation address at State House, Entebbe has left schools in a state of quagmire.
Shutting down of education institutions is unprecedented, to say the least but with the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19, the action is justifiable.
The closure for schools takes effect on Friday March 20th, 2020 at midday in an effort of mitigating the virus.
“It is a smart way of avoiding these concentrations in the face of this danger. I have decided to close the Educational Institutions even before the occurrence of a single corona incident because I have observed the situation in other countries,” Museveni said in the address.
Uganda has not yet registered a single case of Coronavirus, but given the glaring fact that her close neighbors Kenya, Rwanda, DRC and Tanzania have all confirmed cases, the president’s directive is considered timely.
The same Wednesday night saw the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, follow suit and direct all schools in the United Kingdom to close as the world is dealing with this emergence.
What next for Uganda’s education system after the 5pm national address?
The directive covers pre-primary, primary, secondary and upper institutions of learning implying that facilitates have to shut down and staff has to go home.
The pandemic has taken a huge chunk out of the global economy and this move is likely to increase the pinch felt by schools (staff, parents and administration), especially if the guidelines are to extend over the prescribed one month.
Government however insists that prevention is better than cure insisting that attacking the virus before it sinks its claws in Uganda is the best option.
“Once the epidemic breaks out, there is so much stampede that the first suspect to be affected is transport. You have seen how Airports were clogged with people. That crowding is perfect ground for new infections. Let us, therefore, move early to avoid the stampede,” Museveni said.
The action also poses question to UNEB as secondary schools were poised to start the candidate registration phase which normally runs from the first term to early second term.
Universities have to also adhere, with pending activities like research, coursework and tests suspended till further notice.
The government advises the public to remain vigilant and follow the guidelines put forward by the Ministry of Health.