Cabinet rejects plan to declare dead year, opts to buy radio sets

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Government is preparing to provide at least 10 million radio sets to every household and 137,466 solar-powered television sets to various villages in Uganda to enable learners keep up with their studies while away from school.

According to reports, an emergency Cabinet meeting held last week weighed options before re-opening schools as they discussed a report of the Education committee on virtual learning.

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The meeting resolved to keep all schools shut but virtual learning must continue as government monitors the spread of the coronavirus.

A section of legislators had recently called for the government to declare 2020 a dead year for academics, a move that led to mixed reactions.

This was rejected by member of cabinet who tasked Hon. Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance to look for funds in the 2020/21 budget for buying radios and TV sets for the 15 million learners.

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According to the Daily Monitor, sources indicate that the President instructed that all the radios and TV sets must be solar-powered and should be made in Uganda.

At an estimated cost of Shs38,000 per radio set, government will require Shs 380b to supply 10 million radios for all the households in Uganda.

Under the proposed radio and TV based learning strategy, more than 15 million learners particularly in primary and secondary schools, will study remotely without regular face-to-face contact with teachers in the classrooms or lecture rooms.

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With regards to university students, Cabinet said distance learning will involve students engaging with learning materials at home or work. They also get tutorial support via a virtual learning environment, such as phone, email, or electronic means such as teleconferencing and zoom technology.

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