Uganda: Schools in Lira register poor turn up of learners

Schools in Lira register poor turn up of learners

Lira, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Schools in Lango sub-region have registered poor turn up of learners as schools reopened for semi candidate classes.

Last month President Museveni allowed schools and tertiary institutions to reopen for primary six learners, senior three and senior five students on the 1st of March 2020, after a long closure since March, last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, many rural schools in Apac, Kwania, Kole, Dokolo and Oyam districts have suffered a low turn up of candidates.

In Apac district, Patrick Waca, the head-teacher of Ibuje primary school, says of the 110 semi candidates they had in the first term before closure, only 15 have reported back.

Aninolal Primary School in Kwania district received 14 primary six learners, out of 115 they had in term one, 4 learners reported for studies at Agwa primary school, out of 38, Ikwera Negri school for the disabled registered 11 learners, out of 38 and Inomo secondary school registered only 3 students, out of 235 students.

Ader P.7 in Oyam district registered 20 out 55; Kure P.7 still in Oyam registered 18 out of 60 among other schools. Patrick Ocweo, the headteacher of Agwa primary school, attributed low turn up to teenage pregnancies and early marriages. 

He says that they have already embarked on serious sensitization of the parents. 

Ambrose Okori, a resident of Olami Village in Ikwera ward Aduku Town Council and a father of nine children, says most parents are suffering financial burden, a reason many children have remained home.

But Janet Lydia Ajwang, the headteacher Ikwera Negri School for the disabled, says due to financial burdens imposed on the parents by Covid-19 lockdown, they have resolved to lower the school fees from 215,000 shillings to 120,000 shillings for the boarding learners.

According to Ajwang, the move is intended to motivate parents to send their children back to school.

Sammy Bob Okino, the headteacher Lango College in Lira City proposed that the education stakeholders in the districts conduct radio talk shows to mobilize parents to send children to school.

Kwania district Education Officer, Andrew Omunu, urged the school authorities to conduct serious sensitization, mobilization and engagement meetings with parents to help the learners report back to school.

Omuno says in the worst come to the worse, the teachers and local leaders will have to move door to door tracing for the learners.

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