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Presidential Address: Reopening of Schools for Candidate Classes Postponed for One Month

President Museveni has extended reopening of schools for candidate classes for one more month to prevent further spread of Coronavirus in Uganda. 

In his previous address on May 19, Museveni said schools would reopen for only candidate classes on June 4.

However, while addressing the nation at State House Nakasero today Monday, Museveni said that candidate learners returning to school is risky.

“We have further studied this idea led by our scientists. Their opinion is that we better act consciously on the issue of our grand children and children in the education system. This is because there are still many risks,” he said.

The different category of 1.4 million finalists, Museveni said, there isn’t enough testing kits to check their COVID-19 status.

“We don’t yet have enough testing kits for those numbers especially testing every two weeks to know who is carrying the virus and who is not if they are asymptomatic.”

This comes after several education institutions announced cancellation of contracts of staff due to lack of business.

Candidates have since expressed fear of losing a whole academic year which could compel them to repeat classes.

Museveni said machines for testing are available but the challenge is reagents and there is a global shortage of supply because of high demand.

Even if all finalists were tested, Museveni noted that there would still be the issue of dayscholars who go to school and home daily and can easily contract and spread the virus.

He also talked about school workers who don’t stay within the school premises and can therefore contract and spread the virus.

“We have therefore decided that we should not bite too much at a time. Opening for the private cars even with restrictions, opening of public transport even with the accompanying restrictions have already unleashed a big number of people who have started moving around the towns. Let us first of all see the impact of that before we add on the learners.”

Television

He however noted that government is mulling the of providing two television sets for each of the 70,000 villages in the country to enable learners access lessons.

This means government will have to procure and distribute 140,000 television sets for all villages of Uganda.

He also hinted on the the idea of Government providing a radio set to every family to also enable children study via radio.

As a result, he tasked Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda and the technical team to look into the matter and advise accordingly.

However, as communicated in his previous address on May 19, Museveni maintained that public transport will open on June 4 and vehicles will carry a half of their passenger capacity and all persons onboard must be wearing masks.

On easing the lockdown, Museveni announced that Churches and Mosques, public meetings and rallies, remain closed despite many calls from religious leaders urging for reopening of places of worship.

Shopping malls have also been allowed to reopen provided they observe social distancing.

However, arcades remain closed.

This has created confusion with many not being able to draw a line between the two.

Bodabodas and tuk tuks will continue carrying only cargo and not passengers.

All the other remaining guidelines remain in place.

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