President Yoweri Museveni has directed all universities and higher institutions of learning throughout the country to continue studying online using the ODeal system for at least 3 months until the government finds a lasting solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President’s decision was revealed in a letter written by the Executive Director of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Professor Mary Okwakol in a letter to all Vice-Chancellors and Principals of higher education institutions dated January 27, 2021.
“The NCHE is in receipt of a communication from the First Lady and the Minister of Education informing us that based on the advice from the Presidential Scientific Advisory Committee, the President has guided that all higher education institutions should continue studying online using the ODeal system for at least 3 months. This is so, to enable the government to find a lasting solution.
Professor Okwakol encouraged Vice-Chancellors and Principals of higher education institutions to make use of the ODeal system. “All institutions that have not embraced the ODeal system are encouraged to do so,” Okwakol stated.
The decision is set to affect thousands of students who were preparing to join higher institutions of learning.
Makerere University had set out Saturday, January 30 to February 5, 2021, as dates for fresher’s orientation. Semester one was supposed to start February 6, 2021, and end on May 8, 2021.
The date for the re-opening of schools remains unknown. A meeting held at the Ministry of Education on Wednesday had not yet resolved the matter of re-opening schools for continued students pending their briefing of the Minister of Education on their findings.
In March last year, President Museveni closed down schools and institutions of learning as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Even though some of the restrictions imposed by government were relaxed, only candidates and finalists were allowed to report back to school to complete their studies and also seat for their final exams.
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