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Schools in Gulu Struggling to Get Senior One Students Back

The school authorities say some students have either dropped out of school or their parents have transferred them to other schools while a significant number of parents are facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19.
23 Apr 2021 17:11
Students of Gulu College during breaktime - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

Several secondary schools in Gulu City have recorded a drop in the number of learners in Senior One who resumed classes two weeks ago. 

Like all other schools, they reopened their doors for the return of non-candidates, who had stayed home since March 18, 2020, when schools were closed to forestall the spread of coronavirus disease.  But they are recording just a fraction of the learners they had before the closure.

The school authorities say some students have either dropped out of school or their parents have transferred them to other schools while a significant number of parents are facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19.

Dorcus Tulina, the Head-teacher of Charity College a private explains that her school enrolled 177 students in Senior One before schools were closed, but currently only 83 have so far reported back.

At Bishop Angelo Negri College, a faith founded institution in Gulu City West Division only 55 had yet reported back out of the 140 who were admitted before the outbreak of COVID-19.

Tibert Amaru, the college’s Director of studies described the enrollment as fair enough.

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At Gulu Senior Secondary School, only 280 students had reported out of 342 who were admitted at the government-aided day school in 2020. Irene Mwaka, the Head-teacher of the school says the reporting is slow but expressed optimism that more are still going to report.

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Walter Nyeko Otti, the Head-teacher of Layibi College, says 195 students in Senior One class had enrolled at the school before the COVID-19 lockdown and 167 of those have so far reported back.

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He explained that 28 students among those initially admitted did not come back but the school admitted 16 new learners to fill the vacant positions, adding that they have a target of admitting at least 200 learners. 

The decline has been reported across 40 secondary schools including other traditional schools such as Gulu High School, Sir Samuel Baker School, St. John Pope Paul II, Gulu College, Sacred Heart School, and Trinity College School among others.

In the Acholi sub-region, 17,653 girls were impregnated during the extended lockdown period against COVID-19. Of those, up to 2,280 girls were impregnated in Gulu alone, implying a significant number of girls will not have the chance to report back to school as they will be locked in early marriage or motherhood responsibilities.