KIU, Western Campus – Medical students in health professional training institutions will wait with bated breath the outcome of today’s emergency meeting between the Minister of Education and Sports and education technocrats at State House.
Education minister Janet Museveni will meet the technocrats to discuss the reopening of medical schools after President Yoweri Museveni said students studying medicine should be allowed to resume studies because they complement the health workers in health institutions.
On 26th July, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Executive Director Mary Okwakol wrote to the minister, offering guidance on the reopening of health professional training institutions.
NCHE advised the ministry to carry out immediate phased reopening for students in clinical and industrial training years to return to physical training within two weeks’ time since then and adopt blended learning for non-clinical years.
NCHE also advised the government to always consider this category of students and exempt their training institutions from closure in case of any future lockdowns.
“Health professional training students should always be prioritized to continue learning in case of future lockdowns so as to maintain the pipeline of the frontline health workforce in referral hospitals,” reads part of the letter.
The Federation of Uganda Medical Students Association (FUMSA) president Boniface Osodi wrote a letter on 20th June, petitioning president Museveni to consider reopening medical schools, which NCHE acknowledged receipt of.
“NCHE received a copy of a letter from FUMSA dated 20th June 2021 petitioning the President of Uganda H.E Y.K Museveni, to consider reopening medical schools,” it said.
NCHE said it engaged various stakeholders, constituted a multidisciplinary expert panel, conducted a rapid desk review of available scientific evidence and undertook a national survey of students and academic staff on the issue of reopening medical schools.
Osodi, a fourth-year medical student at KIU Western Campus, yesterday told this website that FUMSA has been engaged in negotiations with FUMSA and the ministry for some time now.
Photo: The Pearl Times