Plans are underway for government to provide at least 10 million radio sets to every household and 137,466 solar-powered television sets to villages in Uganda as the country awaits guidelines for holding the 2021 General Election.
An emergency Cabinet meeting that sat on the eve of budget reading last week weighed options before re-opening schools as they discussed a report of the Education committee on virtual learning.
The meeting resolved to keep all schools shut but virtual learning must continue as government monitors the Covid-19 curve.
In the meeting, Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa asked President Museveni to announce a dead year for all educational institutions as a drastic measure to keep learners safe.
Other ministers, however, rejected Mr Kutesa’s suggestion and asked Mr Matia Kasaija of Finance to look for funds in the 2020/21 budget for buying radios and TV sets for the 15 million learners.
While the planned distribution of free radios and TV sets was never intended to assist virtual political campaigns but ease access to distance learning and teaching across Uganda, sources in Cabinet talked of “killing two birds with one stone”.
The reference to “two birds” embodies the debate on the anticipated virtual political campaigns ahead of the February polls.