The President who was presiding over the World Teachers Day celebrations at State House Entebbe added that he is happy that children and teachers are alive and safe.
“The Government of Uganda considers education the key to National development as laid down in the National Development Plan II, Uganda’s Vision 2040,” Museveni said.
Museveni said COVID-19 affected the entire world systems where Forty million Ugandans were all locked up at one point and these included 15 million learners and over 500 teachers were out of school. This had to be done to save our country and the generations to come.
He thanked Ugandans for obeying the guidance given by the Ministry of Health and the Scientists at the beginning of the fight against the deadly virus warning on the relaxation and complacency yet the disease is still here with us and is now spreading in the community.
“Schools are opening soon and you have been advised on what to do when schools open. You have been given guidelines and you will be further guided and supported to manage any eventualities,” he said.
Museveni challenged teachers to lead in not only climate change but also champion in sensitizing the wanainchi, including learners and the communities around the schools on COVID-19 and how to protect themselves.
He added: “I also call upon the National and District COVID-19 Task Forces and the Ministry of Health personnel to be very vigilant and offer adequate and immediate support to the schools, where required.”
On the safety of learners and teachers at school, Museveni said through the guidelines issued to the schools and once these guidelines are properly implemented, there will be no cause for alarm emphasizing the possibility of managing the virus hat this virus as long as there is discipline.
“Education is the backbone of our economy and Government will continue to invest in it and support teachers to ensure that there is continuity of learning and the human resource we require for Uganda’s development is produced,” he added.
Museveni added “COVID-19 has ushered in a demand for more school structures, more teachers, more learning materials, more furniture needs, etc. and these are new challenges we have to deal with.
Therefore, we need to be more creative in finding ways of managing the current situation as we plan to address the new challenges.”
Museveni said Government is now getting more prepared for other forms of learning delivery, besides the traditional face to face delivery of education. Information and Communication Technologies have proved a perfect option where face to face is not possible.
“As you are already aware, Government is procuring 9 million radios for all household in Uganda to ensure that learners remaining at home are catered for and given lessons through radio and, therefore, learning should continue.
Government is also expanding ICT infrastructure to enable effective use of ICT, and we will continue with this investment,” he said.
Museveni said government recognizes the importance of teachers in our education system and is also aware of the challenges the teachers as government is doing its best to ensure that the challenges are addressed and teachers are motivated to teach.