Government announces dates for schools reopening as COVID-19 Omicron Variant is confirmed in Uganda

The Ministry of Education and Sports has announced the date for school reopening, almost 80 weeks after closure.

Schools have been closed since March 2020, with a partial reopening also sent back into lockdown in June 2021 after a surge in COVID-19 infections. President Yoweri Museveni, in his recent address on the status of COVID-19 in Uganda, declared that the economy would be opened fully in January 2022 whether people had been vaccinated or not. He also revealed that vaccination had been drummed up, more doses being donated to Uganda.

Now, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, the State Minister for Education and Sports (Higher Education) revealed that schools are set to reopen on January 10th,  2022 however insisting that they will have to first mobilize for vaccination to avoid getting closed again. He also declared that no teacher will be allowed in school without being fully vaccinated.

“We are now asking you, parents, to prepare. Schools will be reopening just after the festive season and, therefore, we need to be ready. Do not squander funds; spend sparingly and save for reopening,” Muyingo said.

“This is the time to buy books, school uniforms, shoes and prepare our children schools reopening. We also ask parents to offer guidance and counseling to our children. This will prepare their minds to return to school.” He added

Furthermore, Muyingo sent a stern warning to private learning institutions that are planning to reopen prior to the government school calendar. He said no school shall be allowed to roll out its own calendar before the government rolls out its own.

The warning comes after some private schools made their own calendar with their reopening dates starting from January 3, 2022.

Meanwhile, the ministry of health has confirmed 19 new cases of Omicron covid 19 variant today, a new strain of the coronavirus which is believed to have originated from South Africa.

The highly infectious variant has already forced many countries to reinstitute travel bans and to call for caution. It remains to be seen whether the government of Uganda will have second thoughts about reopening due to the latest developments.

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