COVID-19 in East Africa: School starts in Uganda after 83 weeks of Corona break without lessons. A challenge for students and teachers!
The corona pandemic is having a dramatic impact on education in Uganda. Especially the youngest, many are already talking about Uganda’s lost generation, have been deprived of their future due to the pandemic. Because in Uganda the schools have been closed for a whole 83 weeks. 83 weeks without classes. Without perspective. However, there are numerous alternatives to school, which by no means represent a real alternative, but have developed in part out of necessity.
2021 has left its mark in Uganda. Lockdown, night-time exit restrictions, corona restrictions for numerous economic sectors and significantly fewer international tourists than in the years before Corona hit the economy hard. Many lost their jobs overnight. And with schools closed for so long, it’s clear that in order to support their parents, children had to do their part to survive. Many children had to work instead of studying. And many of them will not return to school now, even though schools are reopening. Either they have a job or their parents cannot afford the school fees.
Still others, actually still children, have become pregnant during the pandemic. All these children have one thing in common: They will probably never go to school again and will therefore in most cases not be able to find a well-paid job in the future. A vicious cycle, because it will most likely be difficult for their own children to pay the school fees in the future.
Experts estimate that around 30 percent of all children in Uganda will now no longer be able to return to school.
But for the teachers and for the entire education system in Uganda, things are anything but rosy. 83 weeks without school lessons have also left their mark on the teachers. They had to look for other work. Many of them will not work as teachers again in the future. UNICEF and numerous private foreign organizations have a lot of work to do. Although they will not be able to get all the children back to school, they will do their utmost.