Uganda’s Museveni says schools will reopen in January

The country’s schools have been closed since March last year due to the pandemic.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said that schools, closed since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will reopen early next year, regardless of the low vaccination rate.

“Keep in mind that schools will open in January and the rest of the economy will open in the same month,” Museveni said Thursday.

“Vaccination is key to reopening the economy,” he said, despite the fact that fewer than three million injections have been distributed to a population of about 45 million.

Ugandans have been reluctant to get punctured so far despite Museveni declaring that “there are currently 4.7 million vaccines available” and another 23 million doses are expected by the end of the year.

“By the end of December 2021, 12 million people should have been vaccinated,” Museveni predicted, including vulnerable people and health and education workers.

Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, urged Ugandans to “walk to health centers or be taken there … go by motorcycle taxi, bicycle or vehicle and get vaccinated.”

“Even if he doesn’t go out to get vaccinated, we will open up the schools and the economy,” he said.

“If something goes wrong, the moral responsibility is yours.”

Museveni lifted most of the COVID-19-related restrictions in the country last month, which has seen just over 3,000 deaths from the virus, but left schools closed.

Some students have done manual labor to support their families during the pandemic.

“Sometimes you get little money like … 10,000 shillings ($ 2.80),” said Mathias Okwako, 17, who works at a gold mine in eastern Uganda.

Other students worry that they won’t be able to catch up on missed school work.

“By staying home, sometimes you can’t even have the morals to read books. Sometimes you forget what they taught you in school, ”said 16-year-old Annet Aita.

With their careers on hold, many teachers have also switched to other jobs to help support their families.

Some have said that they do not intend to return to the classroom amid doubts that they can make a living from many heavily indebted schools. Several institutions have been converted into hotels or restaurants.

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