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Parents in Muhokya IDP Camp Struggling To Return Children To School

Alimah Aryemah, the chairperson of Muhokya IDP camp, says that the camp has about 183 school-going children many of whom are under the care of single mothers. She told URN that none of the 60 students in secondary school was able to report back on Monday.
Some of the learners that were recieved at Muhokya primary school on Monday as schools re-opened

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Parents in Muhokya Internally Displaced Camp-IDP in Kasese District are struggling to send back their children to school. Schools across the country re-opened on Monday after nearly two years of closure triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The camp hosts 222 households. Our reporter visited Muhokya Internally Displaced Camp on Monday and found many school-going children still at home. Parents say they don’t have money to purchase at least the most essential scholastic materials.  

Alimah Aryemah, the chairperson of Muhokya IDP camp, says that the camp has about 183 school-going children many of whom are under the care of single mothers. She told URN that none of the 60 students in secondary school was able to report back on Monday.

She also revealed that the camp leadership managed to buy 35 paged books for one pupil in primary one and two to resume studies. These have all been sent to Muhokya primary school.

//Cue in: “Mu IDP Muno… 

Cue out: …baja kusoma batya.”//  

The camp chairperson says parents are unable to raise money to buy scholastic materials and other basic items including paying fees for their children especially those in Secondary because the Sub County does not have a government secondary school. 

//Cue in: “Nawe kati sawa…

Cue out: …meal or a day.”//

Ramathan Asaba, a father of 8 school-going children, says that all his children are still stuck at home because he could not find the usual work in cotton gardens due to the poor season. Whereas he hopes to send some of those in primary to school within this week, Asaba says he will be unable to raise school fees for those that are in secondary. 

//Cue in: “Ate ekizibu kya sente…  

Cue out: …esobole okututasa.”//

Fatima Kisembo, another parent in the same camp has lost hope of all her children re-joining school this term. Kisembo has been supporting her family by doing casual labor in cotton gardens but many farm owners have trimmed staff because of the poor season.

//Cue in: “Aban banu nibagya…

Cue out: …mu camp kuku tuli.”//

Kasifah Biira, who has spent more than a year in Muhokya camp, says that five of her eight children are supposed to be in school but that was not possible for a single mother like her. Biira has managed to send two children to Muhokya primary school without enough scholastic materials and uniform.  

//Cue in: “Abaan nyina abana…

Cue out: …ntuza kubasobora tuta.”//

Paskazia Kabugho, the headteacher of Muhokya Zonal school, says that they understand the challenges of parents in the camp and they have given their children an open window to join as they are. He says they have so far registered 30 children in primary one and two.

//Cue in: “The registration has…   

Cue out:…from the front.”//

Alfred Kule, who is supposed to join primary seven at Kanyangeya Primary School, says that his parents did not even discuss his return to school because they don't have money.

The tearful 15-year-old wants the government and local leaders to prioritize children in candidate classes and support them to return to school. 

Kasese LC V Chairperson, Eliphazi Muhindi says the district is following up on the issue of permanently resettling the group so that they can re-start their lives again. 

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