Schools to reopen for candidates, finalists on October 15, 2020

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Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni.

President Museveni today (Sunday) confirmed that cabinet has approved the re-opening of schools for candidates and finalists on October 15, 2020.

“We have decided to re-open schools for the candidates including P7, S4, S6 and finalists in universities and tertiary colleges. We believe that the number of these is small,” he said while addressing the nation on the COVID-19 status in the country.

The president said there maybe some reasons that hinder private schools from re-opening since some schools were doing education as a business adding that the Ministry of Education has been directed to expand the number of secondary schools.

“The Ministry of Finance should meet the owners of private schools and see how the government can come to their aid,” he said.

According to Mr Museveni, they are opening the schools because the cost of waiting will be too high.

“If the batch of 2020 do not move on, what will happen to the batch of 2021? A solution for the non-finalists shall be got in January 2021,” he said adding that they are going to consolidate distance learning.

“Some people say Museveni is wasting money when he is buying radios. But distance learning might have some advantages, for example by allowing good teachers to teach many.”

Key issues from the presidential address

1. Schools will re-open on October 15 for candidate classes of P.7, S.4, S.6, finalists in tertiary colleges and finalists in universities.

2. The International Airport and land borders will now be opened for tourists, coming in and going out, provided they tested negative 72 hours before arrival in Uganda and provided the tour operators ensure that the tourists do not mix with the Ugandans. Returning Ugandans, who have negative PCR results, will be allowed to go home. The Ministry of Health will only get their addresses for follow up.

3. Restrictions on movements on border districts are hereby lifted.

4. Curfew, from 9pm to 6am, will be maintained; but for the boda bodas, their movements must always end at 6pm.

5. Places of worship, should open with the following guidelines:

a. Individual prayers or confessions with priests or counseling with the necessary SOPs.

b. Prayers and fellowships whose numbers do not exceed 70 and by observing all the other SOPs.

c. Night prayers and trans-nights are not allowed.

d. The regular large gatherings of prayers and preaching on Sundays and Fridays will be considered at a later stage, depending on how the disease will be evolving; but the rule of the number of 70 and not more can be used on the Fridays and Sundays.

e. There should be no Sunday School for children.

6. Open air activities of sports will re-open provided there are no spectators and the players are tested for Covid-19, 72 hours before. This test will expire in 14 days. Hence, the sportsmen will have to repeat the test. This also applies:

a. Sportsmen and women should remember that masks should not be worn, when you are engaged in strenuous exercises.

b. With tournaments, teams should be quarantined for the whole season of the competition.

c. Indoor sports activities, including gyms, remain closed.

7. Casinos, gaming centres and cinemas remain closed.

8. Bars shall remain closed.

9. Hotels will continue operating following the SOPs agreed with the Ministry of Health.

10. Restaurants should continue to emphasise the takeaways. Indoor restaurant services should be minimised and follow the SOPs.

11. Mobile Markets, monthly cattle auction and produce markets should remain closed as the Ministry of Health continues to develop SOPs.

12. Mass gatherings are still prohibited.

13. Bamasaaba who are engaged in Imbalu in these months, have SOPs from the Ministry of Health that were agreed with the Cultural Institution. There should be no processions dancing Kadodi – that is dangerous congregating. Security forces especially the police should monitor those activities. Cases of Covid-19 have gone up in Mbale recently. They are now 107 and five deaths have occurred in that area.

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