Lockdown: Schools brace for dead year

Thursday June 25 2020
ed002 pix

Sisters Sheena Atukunda and Shalom Aturinda of Little Angles Primary School in Ntungamo District take lessons via a radio set at their home on Monday afternoon. PHOTO/ PEREZ RUMANZI.

Stakeholders in the education sector have asked authorities in the Ministry of Education, learners in candidate classes, as well as their parents, to accept reality and forget about any form of exams this year.
Multiple sources in the Ministry of Education talked of “false hope” given to learners in order to keep revising and asked schools, as well as parents, to brace for a dead year.

Government officials, as well as head teachers, have also revealed that it will be practically impossible for candidates to sit exams this year as planned because a lot of study time has been lost and it will be impossible to conduct the end of cycle examinations by Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb).
The head teachers, under their umbrella the Association of Secondary School Head Teachers of Uganda (ASSHU), told Daily Monitor in interviews yesterday that it will be impulsive to talk about examinations before they even establish when the schools will re-open.

Lost time
Mr Martin Okiria Obore, the ASSHU chairperson, explained that they have already lost of time when schools were abruptly closed in March over coronavirus outbreak before concluding first term.
“What we would be talking about practically would be reopening of schools before we even talk about exams. If schools have not opened, it is far-fetched to talk about Uneb. I saw a communication from the public relations [Uneb], I think she is sowing hope so that students keep revising. But practically to have Uneb this year, is impossible. A lot of time has been lost,” Mr Obore said.

A head teacher based in Ntungamo District, who requested not to be identified in order to speak freely, said there are a number of activities which Uneb should have done by this time but haven’t started on because of coronavirus pandemic.
For example, he noted that registration of candidates, which would have been completed by this time, has not yet taken place and it is not clear when it will take place.

Registration enables Uneb to establish how many candidates are sitting for the different examinations it administers at primary and secondary levels.
Also, while examiners applied to participate in marking this year’s examinations, they have not received a response from the exam body.
According to sources in the Education ministry, although Uneb has a question bank, it cannot use them before students complete the syllabus.
“We are not certain of the future. We are looking at this year as a dead year, although not yet officially declared. We see it not easy for Uneb to give candidates exams this year. Uneb cannot definitely set some substandard exams. It must match with the syllabus. Uneb considers syllabus coverage when setting exams. That is where the dilemma is,” the source said.

“What kind of examination will Uneb set to suit the time that the learners were at school or what the teachers had covered? Can they consider that? They will not. Otherwise, if they do, it will mean they are producing half-baked people. If it is to do it, they have to extend examinations to next year so that they can cover the time lost.”
But Mr Filbert Baguma, Uganda National Teachers’ Union (Unatu) secretary said all is not lost until September.

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According to Mr Baguma, if schools will not have reopened by October, then the country should embrace for a dead year. He also proposed extension of the customary terms to February next year to enable learners catch up on the lost time. The extension is only tagged on opening of the schools in September.
Other stakeholders, however, said re-opening schools in September or October will be a joke since the government will need more time to discuss ways of ensuring safety of learners in the face of a the deadly pandemic.

Mr Baguma, however, warned that it would take government another three years to readjust the school calendar to the old timetable by gradually reducing holidays.
“It is still possible because we are in June and time lost can be compensated if we extend third term to next year,” Mr Baguma said, adding: “That will create room such that going forward for the next three years, they keep on adjusting what has been our normal school calendar and take care of the time that has been lost due to Covid-19. That is possible if we can get schools reopened in September. But if we go beyond October, that will be impossible. It becomes complicated.”

Uncertain
State Minister for Primary Education, Ms Rosemary Seninde, yesterday said exams will depend on when government will reopen schools.
“I know at one time we shall be able to open schools. The question is when. As we wait for the answer, we must ensure that our children are engaged. We must not forget that we are now in the new normal. We have no choice but to adjust,” Ms Seninde said.
Asked whether there will be any exams this year, including for learners in non-candidate classes, Ms Seninde responded without disclosing details of the government plan for the education sector.

READ

  • Returnees: Government forcing us into high-end hotels

    Thursday June 25 2020

    home006 pix

    Some of the returnees from abroad took to social media to complain about how government has forced them into expensive designated quarantine hotels.
    According to some of the returnees that arrived on June 9, government teams at the airport forced them into expensive hotels for quarantine despite their choice of cheaper facilities.

    Genesis
    “Trouble is, the government team that met us at the airport gave us only two choices: Hilton Hotel in Kampala ($135, about Shs500,000 a night) and St Stephen’s Suites in Entebbe ($50, about Shs186,000 a night), both excluding meals,” Mr Caesar Lubanga Kene posted a narration by Lino Owor Ogora on Facebook yesterday.
    “I was naturally incensed that I could not be allowed to go to a government designated quarantine hotel of my choice. I protested, but nobody would listen,” Ogora added.

    Some of the returnees claim they paid $110 (about Shs410,000) for two nights.
    However, Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director general of health services at the Ministry of Health, said there were no regular passengers allowed into the country then, adding that those who arrived during that period were humanitarian staff who came in on the request of the United Nations.

    “UN has three accredited hotels where they take their staff. I remember Hilton Garden Courts, Kamwokya, and some other two, I don’t remember. I thought UN pays for them, if they were paying for themselves, there was no point forcing them there. Our team should have allowed them to go where they can afford,” he said.
    Dr Mwebesa added that the matter should have been brought to his attention immediately to enable them go to hotels of their choice.
    “They should have brought this to my attention immediately and I would have directed them to transfer to hotels of their choice. But it’s now late, they completed yesterday (Tuesday),” he said.

    Hotels speak out
    Dr Richard Mugahi, the in-charge of quarantine facilities, refuted claims that returnees are forced into expensive quarantine facilities.
    “That is not true because we gave them a list of hotels and they chose from those hotels and those chosen have to meet the standards. We compile the list of the hotels, some of them are as cheap as Shs100,000. There is breakfast, lunch supper and accommodation…, those who cannot afford we take them to our government classes,” he said.
    Dr Mugahi asked the public to desist from negative propaganda as government sacrificed a lot to make sure returnees are comfortable.

  • ‘Who is benefiting from Covid-19 business during this difficult time?’

    Thursday June 25 2020

    home007 pix

    Returnees: Government forcing us into high-end hotels

    Thursday June 25 2020

    home006 pix

    Some of the returnees from abroad took to social media to complain about how government has forced them into expensive designated quarantine hotels.
    According to some of the returnees that arrived on June 9, government teams at the airport forced them into expensive hotels for quarantine despite their choice of cheaper facilities.

    Genesis
    “Trouble is, the government team that met us at the airport gave us only two choices: Hilton Hotel in Kampala ($135, about Shs500,000 a night) and St Stephen’s Suites in Entebbe ($50, about Shs186,000 a night), both excluding meals,” Mr Caesar Lubanga Kene posted a narration by Lino Owor Ogora on Facebook yesterday.
    “I was naturally incensed that I could not be allowed to go to a government designated quarantine hotel of my choice. I protested, but nobody would listen,” Ogora added.

    Some of the returnees claim they paid $110 (about Shs410,000) for two nights.
    However, Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director general of health services at the Ministry of Health, said there were no regular passengers allowed into the country then, adding that those who arrived during that period were humanitarian staff who came in on the request of the United Nations.

    “UN has three accredited hotels where they take their staff. I remember Hilton Garden Courts, Kamwokya, and some other two, I don’t remember. I thought UN pays for them, if they were paying for themselves, there was no point forcing them there. Our team should have allowed them to go where they can afford,” he said.
    Dr Mwebesa added that the matter should have been brought to his attention immediately to enable them go to hotels of their choice.
    “They should have brought this to my attention immediately and I would have directed them to transfer to hotels of their choice. But it’s now late, they completed yesterday (Tuesday),” he said.

    Hotels speak out
    Dr Richard Mugahi, the in-charge of quarantine facilities, refuted claims that returnees are forced into expensive quarantine facilities.
    “That is not true because we gave them a list of hotels and they chose from those hotels and those chosen have to meet the standards. We compile the list of the hotels, some of them are as cheap as Shs100,000. There is breakfast, lunch supper and accommodation…, those who cannot afford we take them to our government classes,” he said.
    Dr Mugahi asked the public to desist from negative propaganda as government sacrificed a lot to make sure returnees are comfortable.

    “...the countrywide lockdown and closure of the airport found me in South Sudan where I have lived and worked for the last three years. So for a long time, I was not able to come home and had to survive abroad. On June 9, after close to three months, I finally found a flight home. On landing at the airport, a medical team extracted samples for the Covid-19 test, and informed we would go through a 14-day quarantine period at our own cost. I had no problem with this because I was prepared.

    The government had designated hotels, which provided high end and budget options. Based on this, I had made my own arrangements with a hotel in Kampala called Arch Apartments, which was also acting as a quarantine facility and they were offering me full board accommodation and meals at a cost of Shs200,000 a day.

    Trouble is, the government team that met us at the airport gave us only two choices: Hilton Hotel in Kampala ($135 a night) and St Stephen’s Suites in Entebbe ($50 a night), excluding meals. I was naturally incensed that I could not be allowed to go to a government designated quarantine hotel of my choice. I protested, but nobody would listen.

    In the end, I opted for St Stephen’s Suites, Entebbe, which was closer to my price range, only that I did not know what the food would cost me.
    On arrival at St Stephen’s Suites, we were met by a jolly and plump manager who gamely informed us that our accommodation would cost $50 (about Shs187,000) a night, excluding meals. Not even breakfast. If we wanted full-board accommodation with meals inclusive then we had to pay an extra $30 (Shs112,000) a day, bringing the total to a whooping $80 (Shs299,000). This cost was not negotiable. He advised that it would be cheaper than ordering each meal separately.

    Limited options
    Because, I was tired, hungry, and thirsty, I opted to have dinner and weigh my options the following day when I was clearheaded. I ordered fresh fish stew and matooke, something I had missed daily while in South Sudan. When it arrived, it was disappointing both in the quality and in the quantity. The price was a whooping Shs30,000.
    I ordered some beers to quench my thirst and the price was a whooping Shs10,000 per bottle. A bottle of water went for Shs3,500. The following day I ordered breakfast and it cost a whooping Shs38,000. For dinner and breakfast alone, I had clocked up Shs138,000 Ugandan shillings (close to $40). This cost was unsustainable. I had to find another solution.

    The room I was allocated had a living area, a bedroom, and a kitchen with an electric cooker, a gas stove, and cooking utensils. I considered the option of cooking.
    The following day, I called a friend who agreed to deliver fresh foods and groceries. However, when the delivery was made and the manager realised what I was up to, he quickly came up with a rule that cooking was not allowed in the rooms. I asked him why there was a fully stocked kitchen with utensils to go with? He was adamant, saying the policy was meant to avoid accidents. He told me the only equipment I could use were the microwave, the electric kettle and the blender, if I wanted. I was defeated. I did not know what to do with my stash of fresh food.

    After brooding for a while, I decided to consult Mr Google regarding the extent to which I could use a microwave to cook. What I discovered far surpassed my expectation, aroused my curiosity, and motivated me into a several days of trial and error as I experimented with various recipes.


    READ:

    • Returnees: Government forcing us into high-end hotels

      Thursday June 25 2020

      home006 pix

      Some of the returnees from abroad took to social media to complain about how government has forced them into expensive designated quarantine hotels.
      According to some of the returnees that arrived on June 9, government teams at the airport forced them into expensive hotels for quarantine despite their choice of cheaper facilities.

      Genesis
      “Trouble is, the government team that met us at the airport gave us only two choices: Hilton Hotel in Kampala ($135, about Shs500,000 a night) and St Stephen’s Suites in Entebbe ($50, about Shs186,000 a night), both excluding meals,” Mr Caesar Lubanga Kene posted a narration by Lino Owor Ogora on Facebook yesterday.
      “I was naturally incensed that I could not be allowed to go to a government designated quarantine hotel of my choice. I protested, but nobody would listen,” Ogora added.

      Some of the returnees claim they paid $110 (about Shs410,000) for two nights.
      However, Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director general of health services at the Ministry of Health, said there were no regular passengers allowed into the country then, adding that those who arrived during that period were humanitarian staff who came in on the request of the United Nations.

      “UN has three accredited hotels where they take their staff. I remember Hilton Garden Courts, Kamwokya, and some other two, I don’t remember. I thought UN pays for them, if they were paying for themselves, there was no point forcing them there. Our team should have allowed them to go where they can afford,” he said.
      Dr Mwebesa added that the matter should have been brought to his attention immediately to enable them go to hotels of their choice.
      “They should have brought this to my attention immediately and I would have directed them to transfer to hotels of their choice. But it’s now late, they completed yesterday (Tuesday),” he said.

      Hotels speak out
      Dr Richard Mugahi, the in-charge of quarantine facilities, refuted claims that returnees are forced into expensive quarantine facilities.
      “That is not true because we gave them a list of hotels and they chose from those hotels and those chosen have to meet the standards. We compile the list of the hotels, some of them are as cheap as Shs100,000. There is breakfast, lunch supper and accommodation…, those who cannot afford we take them to our government classes,” he said.
      Dr Mugahi asked the public to desist from negative propaganda as government sacrificed a lot to make sure returnees are comfortable.

    • The futility of wearing masks against Covid-19

      Thursday June 25 2020

      home005 pix

      As public transport system settles for the new normal, observing the standard operating procedures seems to be fading away.
      A visit by this newspaper to several taxi parks and streets in the city revealed that people are not bothered about the contagious pandemic at all and merely wear masks to avoid arrest rather than in fear of Covid-19 infection.
      Most passengers and people in town move without wearing masks at all. Those who attempt to, wear the masks on the chin while others wait to be reminded by the conductors to put them on correctly as they board.

      At 5:30pm on Monday, this reporter visited the New Taxi Park where dozens of anxious passengers waited for taxis to go back home before curfew.
      At one of the entrances to the park, there was no hand-washing facility at all. While there were some washing facilities within the park, at some of the stages, there was no enforcement.

      As curfew time drew closer, taxis became scarce in the park as majority did not return in order not to be on the road by 7pm.
      The scarcity triggers a scramble among the passengers to enter the few available taxis and a struggle ensues, totally throwing all the Covid-19 caution to the wind. At stages for routes such as Entebbe, passengers queue up for taxis, abandoning social distancing while others struggle or interact without masks or with their masks strapped under their chins.
      The face mask is supposed to be won covering the nose and mouth to avoid inhaling Covid-contaminated air.
      Despite government’s directive for all taxi drivers to ensure all passengers wear facemasks and sanitise or wash their hands with soap before boarding, this seems to have only lasted for the first few days of relaxing public transport.

      This does not mean that drivers and travellers in private vehicles are any different.
      With scarcity of taxis in town and to avoid being caught up by curfew, it is survival for the fittest in the parks during the evening rush hour. A few minutes to 7pm, there is hardly a taxi at some of the stages such as Kajjansi route. Most passengers are not in queue and are on a get-set position to scramble for any taxi that comes.
      On this particular evening on Monday, one of the passengers called out her friend who was standing at a distance. “Mama (mother of) Nakato, if you stay on that side you will not get a taxi. They must have held up taxis because omukulu (the President), must be coming to Nakasero (State House) ahead of the presidential address,” she beckoned to her friend.

      A gentleman advises passengers headed to Kajjansi to board taxis destined to Zana and then catch a connecting taxi from there. When a Zana taxi, arrived, it triggered a scramble to the scale of a rugby scram. In the circumstances, social distancing was unthinkable and the taxi driver could not bother with the sanitisation.
      The situation was the same in many other taxi parks and stages for different routes.
      A conductor in one of the taxi parks said: “The water is there, so if anyone does not wash hands, it is their fault. Why should a mature person be told what to do? Some things require common sense.”
      Some of the taxis on the road have water mixed with different other detergents such as Omo, Jik etc in spray bottles which they use as sanitisers while others use liquid soap.

      Some taxis load beyond the recommended number of passengers and use short cuts to beat both the traffic jam and police. Along the way, extra passengers board the taxi bringing the total to nine people instead of eight.
      “Sebo (sir) kindly drop me, it’s getting late and I have failed to get a taxi, don’t worry I am getting off right near there before the road block. Please I am begging you,” a woman pleaded with a taxi man.
      While lifting the suspension of public transport recently, President Museveni said they will operate with half passenger capacity to ensure social distancing. He also banned taxi touts.

      However, along Mega Standard Supermarket where most taxis park following the renovation of the Old Taxi Park, there are still taxi touts.
      One of the passengers identified as Ms Sarah Kemigisa, a resident of Nsambya, said following the relocation of taxis outside the park, the touts help them identify taxis for their routes.
      On Jinja Road, some taxis were seen carrying more than eight passengers in the evening rush hour.
      Yesterday, some passengers were seen refusing to sanitise but were allowed into the taxis. Some claimed to have their own sanitisers but none bothered to sanitise before entering the taxi.

      Most of the taxi drivers ask passengers to put on masks mostly when they are approaching a security road-block or upon seeing traffic police.
      A conductor in one taxi said: “Put on your masks, mzee (oldman) put on your mask (tipping a passenger), aren’t you seeing the traffic officers?” the conductor warned.
      However, at some taxi parks such as Usafi enforcement personnel were seen making sure everyone accessing the taxi park washes hands or sanitises. However in the process of waiting to wash social distancing is ignored.
      Following an increase in the number of covid-19 cases, government suspended public transport in March but the ban was lifted this month to relax the lockdown.
      Currently Uganda has 821 cases of coronavirus with 731 recoveries and zero death.

      Measures
      Safety first
      The Minister for Kampala Metropolitan Affairs, Ms Betty Amongi, has said on May 27 all taxi operators of public transport are expected to have personal protective equipment like facemasks and provide handwashing facilities for passengers to wash their hands and a temperature gun to measure the temperature of passengers before boarding.
      She said taxis will park two metres away from each other while in the parks while touting has been banned as part of a presidential directive.
      All city taxis will be assigned specific routes as they resume operations on June 4, 2020.
      The taxis were also be given route colours and numbers.
      The colours to be used are black, red, yellow and green shall be used. She said this will help in tracking vehicles especially during the Covid-19 period where they might need to trace for contacts.


    For my breakfast, I perfected the boiling of eggs, which was the only item I needed alongside bread, tea and fruit, which I had in plenty. For lunch and dinner, l learnt how to bake Irish potatoes, boil rice, spaghetti, and matooke. I learnt how to grill fresh fish, beef, and chicken. I even discovered I could make soup, including groundnut sauce and dried fish. All in a microwave. By the third day, I was practically confident I would survive the 14 days’ quarantine without relying on the hotel food.
    The manager remained confident that hunger would soon force me to order his highly priced food. After waiting in vain for three days, he started getting excuses to come to my room, and discovered I was not starving.

    Last resort
    He checked to see that I was not using the electric cooker and gas stove, but having established that, he remained puzzled regarding how I was managing. After some days of bewilderment, he finally swallowed humble pie and asked, and I pointed to the microwave. He was astonished, but he could not reverse his decision for me to use the microwave.

    After a few days I grew tired of my recipes. So I called another friend in Entebbe who put me in touch with a boda boda rider called Agaba. This fella made my life even easier. For Shs5,000 a trip, he delivered anything I wanted ranging from newspapers, fresh fruits, grilled chicken from Kitoro, juicy nyama choma, and even my favourite bell beer which was not on the hotel bar menu. The hotel only sold Heineken beer, a foreign brand. Agaba delivered large juicy water melons, oranges, and passion fruits which I blended into large quantities of fresh juice and drank all day long.
    Another friend put me in touch with an Acholi woman who owned a restaurant in Entebbe specialising in Acholi cultural foods. She happily prepared recipes such as boo, malakwang and otwoo, which Agaba delivered.

    The plump manager could do nothing but watch and seethe. After 14 days, the only significant bill I owed him was $700 (about Shs2.6m) for accommodation.
    In the end, I am happy that I channelled a small amount of money into the local economy other than giving it all to one greedy hotel owner. Agaba made money on deliveries. The restaurant lady made a few bucks. The market sellers and vendors sold their produce. Imagine if 300 Ugandans in quarantine were doing this? Wouldn’t our local traders have a reason to hope?

    My experience above begs the question: who is benefiting from other people’s misfortunes in this Covid-19 era? I personally know many hotels in Entebbe that would gladly charge much lower prices to take on quarantine residents returning from abroad.
    Many boda boda riders such as Agaba, small restaurant owners, and market vendors are struggling to make ends meet and keep their businesses afloat, and they would gladly dig in to offer affordable options for returning Ugandans. But other than help them, the government’s focus seems to be on helping the big business owners.

    As narrated to Caesar Lubanga Ken (June 23, 2020)

  • The futility of wearing masks against Covid-19

    Thursday June 25 2020

    home005 pix

    As public transport system settles for the new normal, observing the standard operating procedures seems to be fading away.
    A visit by this newspaper to several taxi parks and streets in the city revealed that people are not bothered about the contagious pandemic at all and merely wear masks to avoid arrest rather than in fear of Covid-19 infection.
    Most passengers and people in town move without wearing masks at all. Those who attempt to, wear the masks on the chin while others wait to be reminded by the conductors to put them on correctly as they board.

    At 5:30pm on Monday, this reporter visited the New Taxi Park where dozens of anxious passengers waited for taxis to go back home before curfew.
    At one of the entrances to the park, there was no hand-washing facility at all. While there were some washing facilities within the park, at some of the stages, there was no enforcement.

    As curfew time drew closer, taxis became scarce in the park as majority did not return in order not to be on the road by 7pm.
    The scarcity triggers a scramble among the passengers to enter the few available taxis and a struggle ensues, totally throwing all the Covid-19 caution to the wind. At stages for routes such as Entebbe, passengers queue up for taxis, abandoning social distancing while others struggle or interact without masks or with their masks strapped under their chins.
    The face mask is supposed to be won covering the nose and mouth to avoid inhaling Covid-contaminated air.
    Despite government’s directive for all taxi drivers to ensure all passengers wear facemasks and sanitise or wash their hands with soap before boarding, this seems to have only lasted for the first few days of relaxing public transport.

    This does not mean that drivers and travellers in private vehicles are any different.
    With scarcity of taxis in town and to avoid being caught up by curfew, it is survival for the fittest in the parks during the evening rush hour. A few minutes to 7pm, there is hardly a taxi at some of the stages such as Kajjansi route. Most passengers are not in queue and are on a get-set position to scramble for any taxi that comes.
    On this particular evening on Monday, one of the passengers called out her friend who was standing at a distance. “Mama (mother of) Nakato, if you stay on that side you will not get a taxi. They must have held up taxis because omukulu (the President), must be coming to Nakasero (State House) ahead of the presidential address,” she beckoned to her friend.

    A gentleman advises passengers headed to Kajjansi to board taxis destined to Zana and then catch a connecting taxi from there. When a Zana taxi, arrived, it triggered a scramble to the scale of a rugby scram. In the circumstances, social distancing was unthinkable and the taxi driver could not bother with the sanitisation.
    The situation was the same in many other taxi parks and stages for different routes.
    A conductor in one of the taxi parks said: “The water is there, so if anyone does not wash hands, it is their fault. Why should a mature person be told what to do? Some things require common sense.”
    Some of the taxis on the road have water mixed with different other detergents such as Omo, Jik etc in spray bottles which they use as sanitisers while others use liquid soap.

    Some taxis load beyond the recommended number of passengers and use short cuts to beat both the traffic jam and police. Along the way, extra passengers board the taxi bringing the total to nine people instead of eight.
    “Sebo (sir) kindly drop me, it’s getting late and I have failed to get a taxi, don’t worry I am getting off right near there before the road block. Please I am begging you,” a woman pleaded with a taxi man.
    While lifting the suspension of public transport recently, President Museveni said they will operate with half passenger capacity to ensure social distancing. He also banned taxi touts.

    However, along Mega Standard Supermarket where most taxis park following the renovation of the Old Taxi Park, there are still taxi touts.
    One of the passengers identified as Ms Sarah Kemigisa, a resident of Nsambya, said following the relocation of taxis outside the park, the touts help them identify taxis for their routes.
    On Jinja Road, some taxis were seen carrying more than eight passengers in the evening rush hour.
    Yesterday, some passengers were seen refusing to sanitise but were allowed into the taxis. Some claimed to have their own sanitisers but none bothered to sanitise before entering the taxi.

    Most of the taxi drivers ask passengers to put on masks mostly when they are approaching a security road-block or upon seeing traffic police.
    A conductor in one taxi said: “Put on your masks, mzee (oldman) put on your mask (tipping a passenger), aren’t you seeing the traffic officers?” the conductor warned.
    However, at some taxi parks such as Usafi enforcement personnel were seen making sure everyone accessing the taxi park washes hands or sanitises. However in the process of waiting to wash social distancing is ignored.
    Following an increase in the number of covid-19 cases, government suspended public transport in March but the ban was lifted this month to relax the lockdown.
    Currently Uganda has 821 cases of coronavirus with 731 recoveries and zero death.

    Measures
    Safety first
    The Minister for Kampala Metropolitan Affairs, Ms Betty Amongi, has said on May 27 all taxi operators of public transport are expected to have personal protective equipment like facemasks and provide handwashing facilities for passengers to wash their hands and a temperature gun to measure the temperature of passengers before boarding.
    She said taxis will park two metres away from each other while in the parks while touting has been banned as part of a presidential directive.
    All city taxis will be assigned specific routes as they resume operations on June 4, 2020.
    The taxis were also be given route colours and numbers.
    The colours to be used are black, red, yellow and green shall be used. She said this will help in tracking vehicles especially during the Covid-19 period where they might need to trace for contacts.

“I know at one time, whether it is at the end of this year, or early next year, whenever assessment may be done, it will still happen,” Ms Seninde said.
“All we need to know is that we have been affected by Covid-19 and the lockdown. We must also appreciate that our calendars will also change depending on when we will have our schools reopened even if it comes to assessment at candidate level,” she added.
The Uneb executive secretary, Mr Dan Odongo, wasn’t available for a comment by press time.

Mr Alex Kakooza, the Education ministry Permanent Secretary was also unavailable for a comment by press time.
President Museveni said on Tuesday that it was risky to reopen education institutions but promised to launch a distance learning programme and provide free radios and TV sets to homesteads to facilitate continuous learning during the lockdown.
Two weeks ago, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa went to Cabinet and proposed a dead year for schools. Other ministers, however, rejected the proposal and backed the President’s idea of buying radios and TV sets to support distance learning without any clear plan for end of year.

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