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Uganda schools reopen after nearly two-year hiatus


A security guard checks the temperatures of three students arriving at Kitante Primary School in Kampala, Uganda, on Monday. Associated Press/Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda

Uganda schools reopen after nearly two-year hiatus

Boarding school students carrying their mattresses and belongings to school clogged the streets of the capital, Kampala, on Monday as they ended the world’s longest pandemic shutdown. The lockdown affected more than 10 million students across the country, many of whom had little to no schooling during the closure. Wealthier families hired tutors and secured online learning for their children, but most students had only sporadic lessons over the radio, TV, and in newspapers.

What will school look like now? At least 30 percent of Uganda’s students might never come back to school because many started full-time work or families during the 22-month lockdown. Most public schools did not have the resources to have virtual learning. Educators abridged the curriculum to automatically move students up a class, but organizations warn about overwhelming pupils. Aid groups are urging administrators to provide extra support, tutoring, and “catch-up clubs” to avoid a high dropout rate in the coming weeks. President Yoweri Museveni warned of another possible lockdown if intensive care units reach 50 percent occupancy.

Dig deeper: Listen to Jenny Rough report on an American lawyer’s push for juvenile justice reform in Uganda.


Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Washington, D.C.

@CarolinaLumetta

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