Pader Acting District Education Officer Francis Olwoch told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that although schools in the district have been able to purchase the requirements especially thermometer guns and handwashing facilities, most obtained them through credit.
Several private and government-aided schools in Pader and Kitgum
districts have opted for credit
to purchase essential equipment to meet requirements for the impending
re-opening. Educational institutions will be opened this week, Thursday,
for candidates and finalists after more than seven months of
But before they reopen, they are required to have infrared thermometer guns, adequate handwashing
facilities and guarantee a spacious learning environment to curb the spread of Coronavirus Disease-COVID-19.
Pader Acting District
Education Officer Francis Olwoch told Uganda Radio Network in an
although schools in the district have been able to purchase the
requirements especially thermometer guns and handwashing facilities,
most obtained them through credit.
Olwoch says that most of the schools
are financially struggling and with the high cost of the infrared thermometer
guns, the schools opted for credit hoping to pay when the government releases money
or use proceeds from school fees payment from students. In the open market, infrared
thermometer guns’ costs between 150,000 Shillings to 300,000 Shillings.
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Olwoch says the education
department officials along with the district COVID-19 taskforce have conducted
assessments on three-quarters of primary and secondary schools in the district
and found them fit for reopening.
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Pader District has 114 primary
schools, which include, 107 government-aided and seven private primary schools, nine
secondary schools, six of which are government aided and three are private.
Doreen Acan, the Headteacher of
Kitgum Public Primary School in Kitgum Municipality says lack of financial
resources has forced them to acquire thermometer guns, sanitizers and
handwashing equipment’s on credit. She says the school is hoping to
repay the supplier when the government gives them access to capitation grants.
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Prisca Berna Atim, the Head Teacher
of Pader Girls Secondary school, a private aided school says although they have
been able to put in place the requirements for reopening the school,
facilitating teachers’ pay is their biggest worry. She says the school is
financially handicapped having been closed for the past six months with a
running loan for a school bus recently purchased.
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Atim notes that they expensively purchased
three infrared Thermometer guns at 750,000 Shillings adding that the high cost
has since affected their budget for foot press hand washing facilities.
Gladys Oyat, the headteacher of
YY Okot Memorial College, a government-aided school says they intend to
purchase food for the candidates on credit since they don’t have money. A total of 220 students in O’level
and advanced level will be expected to return to school by Thursday according
She says the financial challenge has also seen them reduce on the
numbers of teachers paid through PTA contributions to seven from 14 citing that
they will now receive only half their payments.
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Kitgum District Education Officer
Fred Owot said he couldn't comment on the matter at the time. However, in a separate interview,
Owot acknowledged that several government schools are in financial crisis
citing that they only have 300,000 Shillings on the accounts which were sent by the government in the first quarter under capitation grant.