Schools in Uganda have fully reopened this morning, almost two years after the coronavirus pandemic started. This has been one of the world’s longest closures since the virus forced governments to close learning institutions back in March 2020.
Students will be promoted to the next class and there will be targeted work to give them a chance to catch up. Uganda’s National Planning Authority (NPA) projected that at least 30% of all students who were in school before the pandemic may never return.
In light of the schools reopening, the Ministry of Education and Sports is set to distribute six million textbooks to 5,502 secondary schools in Uganda.
Speaking at a media briefing on Friday, Dennis Mugimba, the spokesperson of the ministry, said all registered private and government aided secondary schools are to benefit from these textbooks.
The government rolled out the new lower secondary education curriculum in February 2020 with the aim of meeting the learners’ needs, especially in regard to skills training and enhancement.
“We are using an abridged curriculum and it is ready and was uploaded on the websites of National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) and the Ministry of Education on January 6. It is not a new curriculum, but we have simply taken the existing curriculum and condensed it by removing what we think are the good to know and concentrating on the things students must learn,” Mr Mugimba said.
The abridged curriculum is going to run for two to three years and not all classes are going to be affected by it. The classes which will not need this curriculum are Primary One, Senior One and Five.
“These are new to the levels and will continue with the normal curriculum but any continuing learners will have to use the abridged curriculum. We have already trained more than 260 master trainers that are going to reach out to the districts and schools,” Mr Mugimba said.
Out of the 5,502 secondary schools that will receive the textbooks, 3,956 are private schools and the rest are government and community schools. The ministry says, the number of copies of textbooks to be distributed depends on the number of students in the school.