Digital Desk: “I am really excited to head back to my schools. It’s been two years since I last saw the black board and an entire class shouting the answers in unison,” quipped a young and enthusiastic girl, heading towards her school after almost two years of Covid-hiatus. Streets swarmed up with colourful bags as traffic stopped to let the students cross the roads. Ugandan schools reopened today after what can be called as the world longest school closures due to Covid-19 induced lockdown.
Officials speaking on the development said that there are nearly 15 million students who have been affected by the closure. Some have got married early, few others are pregnant, while have left to pursue their education endevour due to family issues.
“We can’t let this happen again. We must keep schools open for every child, everywhere,” the UN childrens’ agency, UNICEF, warned on Twitter.
Classes were temporarily opened in October 2020, but were closed again in May and June in 2021.
While schools remain closed, there have been lessons via radio, TV and newspapers. There are many schools who provided study materials to the students, but unfortunately not many could receive the printed study materials due to distance.
The Covid induced lockdown changed the periphery of the education system across the globe. While many schools opened with 50 percent occupancy, the resurgence of Covid cases due to the advent of the new Omicron variant has once again forced many to shut down schools and colleges.
Not only students, but parents were affected due to the school closure. Many have questioned the authorities how they will be paying the school fees as many lost jobs during the lockdown period.
The phased reopening of schools, which started in November with universities and higher education institutions, was pegged to the vaccination of over 550,000 teachers, their support staff and students aged 18 and above.