Schools to Reopen for Candidate classes this Month

Covid-19: Schools to reopen this month for candidate classes
Schools are set to reopen for candidate classes later this month after being closed for over six months over the Coronavirus.

In a September 2, 2020 letter to the Minister for Finance, Matia Kasaija, the Education Minister who also doubles as the First Lady, Janet Museveni has asked that funds in terms of capitation grants to the government schools for the third term should be released to enable them to prepare for the new term.

“I refer to the meeting held on September 1, 2020 by the President and the national Covid-19 taskforce at State House Entebbe. The meeting resolved that a phased reopening of schools starting with candidate classes be implemented starting with September 20, 2020,” Mrs. Museveni says in the letter.

The Education Minister says because the capital grant for the third term of the year 2020 was not released by government to schools in July because they were closed, the money should be sent now.

“On account of the position taken in the above-stated meeting, this is therefore to request you to cause the release of the funds to the beneficiary schools to prepare for the phased reopening of schools.”

In July, the Ministry of Finance directed all accounting officers and local governments to refund money that was transferred to government-aided schools as capitation grant for the second term.

According to the Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi, the money had been sent to schools but since they were still closed by government following the outbreak of Covid-19 and students did not study the second term, they ought to refund the money since it was not used.

Capitation grant is money are used on instructional materials, co-curricular activities, school maintenance, and payment for utilities such as electricity and water, among others by government schools.

According to the Ministry of Education, each pupil gets shs17,000 per year in government-aided primary schools, whereas in secondary schools, each A-level student gets shs88000 and shs55000 for O-level per term as capitation grant.

President Museveni recently allowed educational institutions to reopen for final year students undertaking health-related courses.

In a September,1,2020 letter to Vice-Chancellors and Principals of institutions offering health-related courses in the country, the Executive Director of the National Council for Higher Education, Prof. Mary Okwakol said following consultations and the need to address the issue of medical interns and the services they provide, government has decided to reopen institutions for final year students.

“I am pleased to inform you that the President has approved the re-opening of institutions with final year students undertaking health-related training. This is to enable students complete their studies so as to fill the human resource hap the health sector would like to face,” the National Council for Higher Education boss said.

The national Covid-19 taskforce headed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda in a meeting with the President early this week proposed the reopening of Entebbe airport, borders and places of worship but under strict guidelines to be followed.