The cases came up over the last two weeks since the reopening of schools as the government ended a 22-month long lockdown on educational institutions. But as schools re-open their gates, hundreds of learners are reported to be stuck in homes, with no fees or even money to clear the school requirements.
Several government-aided schools in Luwero, Masaka, Rakai, Mukono, Nakaseke, Gulu and Amolator, among other districts, are struggling with a very poor turn up of learners, many of them recording less than half of the student population they had before schools were closed on March 20, 2020.
Learners returned to schools on Monday, January 10, 2022, after 22 months of closure over the COVID 19 pandemic. However, many learners are still home as parents hustle to return their children over lack of fees and other requirements.
On Monday night, students of Bukalasa Agricultural College went on strike and threw stones in the compound in protest against sitting examinations without studies, sexual harassment, and poor sanitation among other complaints.
Learners, across the country, are returning to school this week after 22 months of shutdowns which were effected as one of the measures to control the spread of COVID-19. Although some learners were studying online during the time, many others, especially in rural areas have not had any interaction with a teacher since the closure in March 2020.
Daniel Ssajjabi the Chairperson of Luwero District Private Primary and Secondary Schools Association says that the affected schools were closed because some were being hosted in rental buildings and the directors were unable to pay arrears over prolonged lockdown.
In October last year, the Education Ministry released 50 percent of the first quarter capitation grant for all government-aided schools to help them prepare ahead of the scheduled January 10th reopening.
Fredson Kakooza Wilson, the LC 3 Chairperson of Nabiswera sub-county, says that they secured five acres of land at Kalwara village to relocate Moone Primary School to ensure the 265 learners continue with studies.
Recently the Minister in charge of ICT and National Guidance, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi said that the Cabinet had resolved all Universal Primary (UPE) and Secondary Schools (USE) to stop charging learners any fees as schools reopen in January next year. But parents, headteachers and local leaders have asked the government not to abolish the PTA fees until it's able to fund the schools adequately.
Safe Spaces was launched after the March 2020 directive by President Yoweri Museveni to have all schools and learners sent home following the outbreak COVID 19. The pandemic has since ravaged economies across the globe and killed over five million people.
Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa, the Luwero District Kadhi has confirmed receiving the notification from the DEO and directed Imams and country sheikhs to handle the nomination of SMC members at the 34 Muslim founded schools in the districts.
Christopher Mugisha, the Headteacher of Kyampologoma primary school says that the pupils were discussing around 4 pm on Sunday when heavy rain started and blew off the roof of their classroom block. He says falling bricks hit the pupils as they tried to run away from the classroom to save their lives.
On Tuesday, the board released a list of 1,113 successful loan scheme applicants for the academic year 2020/21, many of them male applicants from urban areas. The board has handled 26,698 applicants for loans to join higher education in the last six years of its existence.
Zenar Nasur, the Luweero District Education Secretary, says most of the teenagers were lured into sex after being left alone at home by their parents. She explains that most of the affected girls live with their grandparents and guardians who exercise little control over them, which gives them leeway to engage in irresponsible sexual behavior with their peers or male adults.
A Primary Six Pupil at Arise and Shine Primary School who was found vending brooms in Luweero town council on Friday said that her mother is among those whose businesses were closed over the COVID 19 pandemic leaving them with no source of livelihood. He explained that as result, he was directed to vend brooms to get money to look after the family and save for fees.
The Inspector General of Government Irene Mulyagonja has noted that in July 2006, Luweero district through the Uganda Land Commission erroneously issued five new certificates of freehold titles on the land belonging to Bukalasa Agricultural College.
Education Minister Janet Museveni says that the Ministry has developed a Preparedness and Response Plan to enable the continuity of learning during the lockdown. According to the new plan, learners will be taught on radio and TV.