Education Minister Urges Patience on Reopening of Schools, Clears E-learning for Universities

Education Minister, Hon. Janet Museveni.

Hope for a sooner reopening of schools seems to be lost after the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni urged patience on the matter.

“We need to exercise patience and self-restraint on the matter of normal resumption of institutions of learning, considering what we have learnt from countries that had closed but later re-opened,” the Minister said on Friday in a short televised statement about the Ministry’s preparedness and response to Covid-19.

She cleared universities and other institutions of higher learning to adopt e-learning. This, she said, would ensure continued learning during the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown on schools.

“It is our desire as a sector that all Universities and Tertiary Institutions do e-learning as soon as possible. The ministry has already put in Guidelines for implementation of e-learning. These guidelines will be communicated soon,” she said.

Adding, “there has been a misconception in the media that Ministry of Education and Sports prohibited e-learning. This is absolutely not true. We cannot be the ones banning what we are promoting. The ministry is putting forward a comprehensive sector-wide agenda to guide delivery of formal Education through e-learning mechanisms because it has implications on the quality of education for the country and its citizens. Once the ICT and E-Learning Framework is complete, communication will be made to the stakeholders and the public at large,” the Minister explained.

She hastened to add that e-learning should ensure no student is excluded.

“Allow me to observe that one of the critical requirements in these guidelines for e-learning is that no continuing learner should be left behind or excluded from learning when a learning institution starts implementing the e-learning approach,” she said.

According to the Minister, guidelines will be availed to the public by the executive director of the National Council for Higher Education.

The development comes at a time when several universities are adopting e-learning options to bridge the gap brought about by the closure of educational institutions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the high technology divide, internet accessibility challenges and limited access to the ICT equipment.

Meanwhile, the minister revealed that the ministry is working on a comprehensive sector-wide agenda to guide the delivery of formal education through e-learning mechanisms because it has implications on the quality of education for the country and its citizens.

She however noted that the ministry will ensure continuity of learning for all students in primary and secondary school through the already communicated home-schooling programme which will see the government giving out a radio set for every household, two television sets for every village and self-study materials.

“We are in advanced stages of developing home-schooling study materials for the entire primary and secondary education levels. We will provide printed learning materials for all subjects and all learners. In addition to that, all lessons in the printed materials form shall also be broadcast through radio and TV stations,” Janet Museveni stated.

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