Are Ugandan Students Set to Have a ‘Dead’ School Year Due to Rise in COVID-19 Cases?

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A concerned Ugandan tweep shared the circular below, dated June 25, which is supposedly from Uganda’s Ministry of Education regarding the re-opening of schools.

 

According to the screenshot of the circular above, schools in Uganda will have a ‘dead year’, meaning that they will remain closed up to next year due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Background

Uganda’s COVID-19 numbers currently stand at 833 confirmed cases and 761 recoveries (keep track of updates here). No coronavirus-related death has been recorded in the country so far.

As a measure to curb the spread of the virus, all schools in Uganda were shut in March.

In May, the government announced that candidates and university finalists could resume classes but that decision was later rescinded until further notice after it created public anxiety.

Verification

A look through Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports official Twitter handle shows that the notice in question has since been dismissed by the government as fake.

The Ministry has also communicated that updates on the re-opening of schools will be shared on Monday, the 29th of June.

Uganda’s Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education and Sports, Alex Kakooza, in an interview with The Observer dated June 24 spoke on the issue saying in part:

We are not planning on having a dead year. As you are aware, when we closed schools and universities, we were not prepared for that. For schools, first term was still running.

Secondly, there are professions that would feed into the current situation. We will need intern doctors, nurses and paramedical, among others, on the wards to help in the fight against Covid-19. Also, if we get a dead year, it means the system at all levels would get clogged.

Verdict

The notice with claims that Ugandan schools will remain closed up to next year is fake, making the claims, FALSE.

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Peris Gachahi

Peris Gachahi is a reporter at Africa Uncensored.She is passionate about human interest stories told through in-depth documentaries, data stories and digital storytelling.