Varsities set dates for re-opening for finalists

Friday May 29 2020

Graduates  jubilate at the the 69th gradua

Graduates jubilate at the the 69th graduation ceremony of Makerere University this year.Universities across the country have started setting dates for reopening for finalists with different safety measures put in place. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA.  

By DAMALI MUKHAYE & NORBERT ATUKUNDA

KAMPALA- Universities countrywide have started setting dates for reopening and putting in place various safety measures to welcome back the finalists next month.

President Museveni, who ordered the closure of all institutions of learning in March due to the outbreak of Covid-19, said schools will be allowed to open on June 4 but for only finalists.

Mr Museveni instructed the Ministry of Education to come up with guidelines for reopening schools across the country.
However, some universities have moved ahead of the Ministry of Education and set their dates for reopening as they await specific operating procedures (SOPs) that will be issued by the ministry.
Makerere University has set June 20 for re-opening.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, has asked all College principals and deans to avail him with a list of all final year students and their contacts before the end of today.

“Following the pronouncement by President Museveni that universities would open only for finalists, the Makerere University Covid-19 response task force at its meeting held on May 25 set June 20 as the reopening dates and August 7 as the closing dates and this will include teaching and end of semester examinations,” Prof Nawangwe said yesterday.
He said all finalists should be contacted to prepare for the semester.

Makerere University secretary Yusuf Kiranda yesterday told Daily Monitor that they are ready to comply with SOPs that have since been communicated by the Ministry of Health.

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“We have put in place a committee to handle the plans and there is a top management meeting today where the presentations on the plans will be made,” Mr Kiranda revealed.

Meanwhile, Mbarara University of Science and Technology has set June 8 as the date for the re-opening.

The deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Prof Nixon Kamukama, said they have received a list of all final year students, including 80 international students, who did not go back to their home countries.

“As guided by the Ministry of Education, the university will open for lectures on Monday, June 8, and close on August 7. The tentative time tables have been drafted and will be shared on email.”

Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor Eli Katunguka said they plan to open on June 20 or June 28, adding that this will depend on two meetings of the top management and Senate that will be held next week.

Prof Katunguka said the university instituted a Covid-19 task force to study the situation and present the report to the institution today.

“We are also working to get all the details and numbers of our learners so that we ensure that social distancing among them is maintained. Once all these SOPs have been put in place, the university will ready to welcome the finalists,” he said.

He, however, wondered how students, especially those upcountry and in border districts where private and private transport is restricted, will travel.

Ms Lilian Gimuguni, the academic registrar of Busitema University, said the university will be open on June 13 as approved by the university council.
“They will study from June 15 to July 27 then do exams for two weeks,” Ms Gimuguni said yesterday.

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