According to data from research made by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Uganda remains the only African Country where schools and education institutions still remain closed.
The research tracks the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on education across the world.
Education Institutions have been closed in the country since March last year leaving a total of over 15 million students out of school. For some classes like those at primary and secondary levels, education still remains a myth they only hear about in the news.
For Institutions of Higher Learning like Universities, studying has been transferred online. Despite the short period of physical learning in the first half of the year, the second wave of COVID-19 was enough to send the country back into a lockdown subsequently closing the Universities and other education institutions once again.
The continued school closure despite reduction in the number of registered new infections in the country has left many students stranded at home, with many diverting their efforts to non-academic activities like business.
“Beyond falling behind on their education, many children are missing out on school-based meals and routine vaccinations, experiencing social isolation and increased anxiety, and being exposed to abuse and violence. For some, school closure have led to drop out, child labor and child marriage. Many parents have been unable to continue with their employment while balancing their children’s care and learning needs. Some have lost their jobs entirely, pushing their families into poverty and creating a deeper economic crisis,” UNICEF has reported.
According to the data from United Nations, Uganda has left the schools closed for over 77 weeks which translates to 20 months and counting, meaning Uganda has closed its schools for the longest period of time. Following Uganda in the world is Nepal (74 weeks), Bolivia (73 weeks) and India (73 weeks).
Uganda is set to re-open some of the education institutions for physical learning this coming month of November provided a substantial number of teachers and students are fully vaccinated.