Some 15 million pupils have not attended school in Uganda since March 2020 when classrooms were shuttered as COVID-19 swept the world.
Education Minister John Muyingo said all students would automatically resume classes a year above where they left off. Child rights groups had criticised Uganda’s decision to keep schools fully or partially shuttered for 83 weeks, longer than anywhere else in the world.
Muyingo said any private schools demanding fees above pre-pandemic rates would be sanctioned. Students who took up manual jobs to support their families through the pandemic and may not return to education.
Other students worry they may never catch up on the school work they have missed. According to the National Planning Authority (NPA), up to 30 percent of students are expected to not return to their school desks due to teen pregnancy, early marriage and child labour.