Closed. Fermée. Chuisa. Gesloten. Wagale. Kiloro. Cerrada. Geschlossen.

Elspeth Dugdale | October 27, 2021

Closed. Fermée. Chuisa. Gesloten. Wagale. Kiloro. Cerrada. Geschlossen.

At the risk of being repetitive, schools in Uganda are still most definitely closed. There was a (short-lived) glimmer of hope in June, that all schools and universities might open .… followed by rumours of August, and more recently even talk of this October. Plenty of conflicting information and confusing headlines. 

  

 

However, unless the official information changes in the next few weeks, (not as unlikely as it sounds!**), then it looks likely that schools will not open until January or February 2022. Hmm….  It’s quite an increased sentence for those students who have been ‘out’ and at home since March 2020. The danger is that everyone is getting 'out of the habit' of going to school.

On a bad day, it’s too easy to stay frustrated with the lack of change, distracted and confused by each emerging headline in the Ugandan media. However, the serious damage to young children, students & teachers is potentially very long-lasting, for years to come. This will undoubtedly lead to growing injustice, further widening the gap between wealthy & poor. In short, over 15 million children & students (aged 3 – 20+) are still stuck. Many teachers in Uganda have decided to leave the profession. It is anticipated that many students will never return to school and may simply ‘drop out’. Fortunately WTA & Connect teachers are still receiving partial salaries, thanks to the great response of ServeDirct supportors - thank you! We will then resume the 'Bring Them Back' scheme, to help the students to return, which is planned to continue throughout 2022.

However, as always, Charles, the WTA Director provides some grounded perspective and experience. In a recent message he writes:

“We are well conditioned in the art of waiting even when something may never come, we wait until another story replaces the wait”. Wise and calm as ever.

Changing our outlook, while still hoping and trusting for things to change, is certainly the best approach.

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** Since writing this article, the President has announced that schools will definitely reopen in January 2022....watch this space!