The government plans to extend Covid-19 vaccination centres to schools. This was revealed on Friday by the Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni.
Last week the minister made a call to all teachers, critical school staff members and learners above 18 years to go for vaccination as one of the conditions tagged on the possible phased school reopening.
However, her statement was not welcomed by authorities at the health ministry who noted students, save those in health training institutions, had not yet been included on the list of people eligible to receive the Covid-19 jabs.
The authorities noted that there were not enough vaccines at the moment in the country to cover the already listed groups of frontline workers and then add on students.
But the minister says that for the recently received 300, 000 Covid-19 vaccines and when the next consignment of vaccines arrives, the health ministry shall extend vaccination posts to schools, universities, and tertiary institutions.
The move, she adds, will help reduce congestion at the current Centres where COVID-19 vaccines are being received and also bring the services closer to the targeted group. She further re-echoed the earlier statement that the sooner more teachers are vaccinated, the sooner the government will re-open our Education Institutions of Learning.
Sources at the education ministry say that the desired vaccination of learners above 18 years is linked to the possible reopening of institutions of higher learning where learners of such age are found.
Available statistics indicate that there is an estimated number of 600,000 students above 18 years and therefore being called upon to go for vaccination. This is in addition to the targeted 550,000 teaching and non-teaching staff at all levels of education.
Meanwhile, on issues of progression and promotion of learners, the minister says they have already developed a clear plan of how the learners in the current classes shall progress to the next level without clogging the system.
She says that the ministry plans to conduct the selection exercise for S.1, S.5, and first years for tertiary institutions to be completed in September and October 2021.
“However, this does not mean that those selected learners will report to school immediately. The date of reporting will be communicated to the public as part of a revised School Calendar once a re-opening date has been agreed upon by Cabinet,” she noted.