Should We Reopen Schools? A Child-Centered Position for Uganda
The government of Uganda has imposed a lockdown as a pre-emptive measure to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This action saw all schools and education institutions close in March 2020 and since then, over 15 million children have been locked out of school with no certainty of when they will reopen. Even with candidate classes and medical students possibly triggering a gradual, phased return, the majority of Uganda’s youth remain in their homes. This has meant missed learning opportunities and led to a rise in rates of violence against children (VAC) in their homes and communities.
Much of the current national debate centres around reopening businesses and kickstarting the economy. This is naturally at the forefront of people’s minds as their livelihoods are at stake. What appears to be lost in this conversation is that children have an urgent priority too. Their current and future wellbeing depends on having access to a school. For them, and their parents, this question deserves greater attention in our national conversation about how to proceed from here.