World Record Holder
Elspeth Dugdale | October 31, 2021
To be fair, Uganda holds many world records that are truly admirable, inspirational and impressive, across the fields of sport, culture and other notable, varied achievements - to name but a few. However, Uganda's current and most significant world record is sadly far less desirable....
Uganda currently holds the world record for having kept its schools closed for the longest time - for nearly 80 weeks, close to 20 months. And still counting. Moreover, this has happened despite relatively low Covid-19 infections and deaths - according to UN data.
Neighbouring countries, such as Rwanda, also closed their schools for around 40 weeks, but have all now reopened their educational and economic doors based on their Covid-19 data. Uganda has now announced that schools will reopen in January 2022, with universities opening up to face-to-face learning this November. Progress at last?
Continued closure is said to be necessary "to protect the health of young people in Uganda". Vaccination programmes are underway, although there is still a long way to go. All teachers are supposed to be vaccinated in order to be allowed back to work.
Recent headlines give a glimpse of the turmoil and difficulties that are unfolding and are likely to unfold for a long time, even after schools do finally reopen.
Uganda kept schools closed longest – Unicef
What becomes of learners not favoured by online system? How poor students have been ejected from online learning
Janet Museveni challenges parents as pandemic sex abuse soars
Ministry of Education should engage stakeholders and open up schools
370,000 students miss S1, S5 admission
Now that schools are finally going to reopen next January, this world record may come to an end....and hopefully the headlines will be brighter.