Ugandan schools set to re-open after 2 year closure

Girls in school pre-Covid-19 closures, Masaka, photo credit Aidlink

After almost 2 years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Uganda are set to re-open on Monday 10 January 2022, but who will return?

Of the 15 million children out of school, the National Planning Authority state that 30% are expected not to return due many challenges such as teen pregnancies, early marriage and child labour.

When schools closed in March 2020, the most marginalised were worse affected. UNICEF are reporting an increase of 22.5% in teen pregnancies among girls aged 10 to 24, while 2 out of every 10 children who depended on school feeding programmes no longer had access to their only daily meal. Many young boys have entered the child labour market and are now earning a wage, albeit small, that may deter them from returning to the classroom.

Girl, Masaka, photo credit Aidlink

Girls in school, Masaka, photo credit Aidlink

Concerns also loom over whether schools are equipped to welcome back students next week due to the long period of absence. Many schools lack the resources to meet the standard operating procedures (SOPs), including basic hand washing facilities while it is expected that many teachers, who have relocated and/or taken up a new profession during the school closures, will not return to the classroom. Aidlink supports civil society’s call on the government to assist all education institutions through grants and funding to access Covid-19 protection supplies, learning materials and teachers’ wages.

Education must be prioritised in order to foster the growth, development and well-being of children in Uganda. With our dedicated partners we are working to: support the enrolment, retention and educational attainment of children, especially young girls and improve marginalised communities’ access to clean and safe Water and Sanitation (WASH) services in the Masaka and Kyankwanzi districts of Uganda.

Aidlink will continue to monitor the school situation in Uganda and support children to return to and stay in school.

Children in school pre-Covid-19 closures, Masaka, photo credit Aidlink

Children playing during school lunch break, pre-covid-19 closures, Masaka, photo credit Aidlink

January 7th, 2022|
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