Gulu: 25,500 learners yet to report back to schools

Gulu district had 94 learning institutions with over 29,000 learners by the time schools were closed in March 2020.

By Okot Lil Romeo

Gulu – January 24, 2022: Over 25,500 learners in Gulu district are yet to report back to classes two weeks after the official date of reopening of schools on January 10.

According to the report, Gulu district recorded only 3,500 learners in the first week out of 29,000 total learners in the district.

Sources say the delay is caused by parents who fear there could be another lockdown, or their children might get the Covid-19 virus.

 Caser Akena is the District Education Officer [DEO] Gulu. He explained that on the first day of reporting over 600 (85%) of teachers in a government headed schools reported. 

He added that some teachers got transfers to other schools leaving unclear statistics of reporting.

Akena revealed that 15% of teachers who were not able to report on the first two weeks are because of some medical condition, loss of their dear ones; and domestic which have been reported to headteachers.

Cathy Acayo Aboga is the headteacher Gwengdia primary school in Awach sub-county. Gulu district. 

“Out of 554 total learners in the school only 129 learners registered last week with two pregnant learners. Eight out of ten teachers have reported,” she added.

Aboga said upper classes like P5, P6, and P7 have lower turn-ups, noting that last week only 40 out of 129 learners reported. This is affecting the scheme of lessons by teachers, she told TND News.

 George Omona of Poko-Ogali primary school in Paicho sub-county in Gulu district said parents are not sending their children to school, stating that they are fearing the school could be in lockdown again due to the presence of Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Out of 518 learners, he revealed to us that 20 reported on the first day and in the last two weeks a total of 42 learners have reported: 30 are girls, 12 are boys.

He appealed to parents to take back their children to complete the syllabus, further extending the advice to the ministry of education Gulu office to support the learning.

Simon Opiyo, 24, is a father of three children hailing from Goro village, Pukony parish, in Awach sub-county. He revealed that he has fears another lockdown might come. His children study in Ogwuro primary school and they are all back in classes

Another parent, David Ocaka, 33, resident of Paibona village Awach sub-county said they are facing a school fees challenge after being in the lockdown for too long.

Burlington Paogwece is the secretary of education in Gulu District and councillor IV Bungatira ward. He revealed that some parents feel they are not prepared to send their children to school. 

He also noted that parents take the first week as a day of orientation in which no learning except general cleaning of school environments.

He highlighted that some schools in deep rural areas like Kiteng-Owalo primary school, Awach camp primary school, Oroko primary school are performing poorly, while other schools in trading centres, urban centres had attendance at 60%.

The Ministry of Education has come up with a tracking tool. This innovation tracks teachers and pupils on a weekly and monthly basis.

Gulu district had 94 learning institutions with over 29,000 learners by the time schools were closed in March 2020; 48 government-aided schools, 37 private primary schools.

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