Information Minister Chris Baryomunsi has urged the public not to pressurise government to re-open schools, saying that government knows what it is doing and will re-open them at the opportune time.
President Museveni, in his address on Wednesday, said that schools will remain closed until January 2022, as government continues to vaccinate a sizeable number of teachers and learners above the age of 18.
A number of stakeholders disagreed with the president, saying that schools need to be reopened at least next month to avoid ‘catastrophic’ occurrences, especially to the learners.
Speaking on NBS Frontline on Thursday however, Baryomunsi said that government is only trying to create a safe environment for everyone, and should not be pressurised into re-opening.
“If you die now, when will you pursue your degree? The intention is that we create a safe environment. We have gone through two waves of Covid-19 and we lost many Ugandans, you also know what happened when we opened schools (the last time),” Baryomunsi said.
Baryomunsi also re-echoed President Museveni’s words, saying, “The President has been saying pregnancy is better than dying. That is a valid explanation.”
Baryomunsi noted that for the countries that have reopened, a sizeable number of their population has been vaccinated and Uganda is also looking at vaccinating at least 4.8 million people in the ‘most at risk’ population before easing further.
“Do not box us into a corner because Britain and UK have opened up, they have because they have vaccinated a large number of their population,” Baryomunsi said.
The minister said that some of the people who are forcing government to re-open schools are those that want to make money at the expense of the lives of millions of Ugandans, something they will not allow to happen.
He said that gradually, all sectors of the economy will be re-opened as and when government feels it is safe.
According to the Ministry of Health, Uganda has so far vaccinated 1.7 million people.