By Christopher Kisekka-URN
KAMPALA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: The Ministry of Education and Sports has designed a three-year education institutions’ calendar that will guide schools to recover the lost time and also harmonize the normal school calendar and academic year schedules.
Uganda’s academic year normally runs from February to November with the school calendar covering 260 days of curricula and co-curricular activities, assessment, and national examinations. Under this arrangement, the system leaves out 104 days for holidays.
However, due to the closure of schools as a safety measure to control the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the school calendar was affected and the ministry has been planning means to adopt and ensuring continuity of learning.
Under the new school calendar, each term will be running for at least 12 weeks with holidays fixed around 15 to 17 days. According to the schedule, the first term of the 2021 academic year will start on August 9, and end on October 29, 2021. Learners will go for a fifteen-day holiday and return for the second term on November 15 studying up to February 4, 2022.
On February 22, 2022, the third term will begin and end on May 2 of the same year. On May 16, 2022, schools will reopen for the 2022 academic year with its first term ending on August 5, 2020. The second term will start on September 22 and end on November 16, while the third term will start on January 7 and end on March 24, 2023.
The 2023 academic year will start on April 10 and its first term will be running up to June 30. The second term will then begin on July 17 ending on October 6 of the same year. The shortest term of all will be the 2023 third term starting on November 23 up to December 22.
If all factors remain constant, the academic year will start following the known school calendar running from February to December starting from 2024.
The ministry notes that during the revised academic years, teachers will focus on recovering the lost curriculum content throughout education focusing on lower primary, upper primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary.
“While making efforts to ensure lost time, schools should avoid marathon lessons where learners are taught for long periods and other forms of overloading learning,” the guidelines issued read in part.
The education ministry has also advised headteachers to ensure that their respective teachers are oriented and sensitized on effective approaches and methods for accelerated but equitable learning that ensure that no learner is left behind.
The guidelines also indicate that for as long as schools are still recovering lost time and content, there will be no beginning of term, mid-term, and end of term examinations. “Time usually spent on administering these examination sets shall be used to cover the syllabus. Assessment of learners shall be based on class exercises and class assignments,” the guidelines add.
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