After one of the world’s longest pandemic school closures, the education system in Uganda is set to restart, though the process looks set to be fraught with difficulties.
“We expect a low turn up because the children say they are not coming back,” secondary school teacher Bosco Wantate told dpa, adding “they are tired of studying. They are doing other things.”
Parents have also been complaining that they have no money because they have been unable to work during the lockdown, Wantate said.
“The situation is dramatic: most students have been out of school for a total of two years; especially children under the age of eight and students in remote areas have had little access to education,” explained Lilian Ssengooba, programme development officer for the aid organization SOS Children’s Villages.
Ssengooba said that she also feared that many students nationwide will simply never resume their education. “Many young girls have now been married off by their families or are pregnant, while other students have been forced to go to work to support their families,” she said.
According to SOS Children’s Villages, schools in Uganda were partially or fully closed for 83 weeks during the coronavirus pandemic.
Uganda has recorded nearly 150,000 cases since the pandemic began, of which over 3,300 proved fatal. However, as in many African countries, it’s likely that the number of cases in Uganda has been highly under reported.