Moroto, Uganda | URN | Primary schools in mining areas in Moroto district have received a generous donation of scholastic materials from the Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU). The donated items, including 714 dozens of exercise books, a carton of pens, three dozen pencils, skipping ropes, and footballs, among others, were delivered to seventeen primary schools in Tapac and Rupa sub-counties.
The head teachers of the beneficiary schools expressed gratitude for the donation, stating that the scholastic materials will greatly benefit learners who have been unable to afford writing materials due to a lack of support from their parents. Many pupils have been attending school without books, pencils, and pens, which are essential for their education.
Patrick Mutiro, the head teacher of Kosiroi Primary School in Tapac sub-county, explained that parents often have the misconception that books, pens, and school uniforms should be provided by the government or well-wishers. As a result, many students arrive at school without the necessary materials, causing disruptions to the learning process.
While the donated books may not be sufficient for every child, priority will be given to the most vulnerable students who have been unable to attend classes due to a lack of writing materials. Mutiro also lamented that some parents prioritize spending money on alcohol rather than supporting their children’s education and encouraging them to stay in school for a brighter future.
Marion Lomilo, the head teacher at Lopelipel Primary School, highlighted the challenges faced by teachers in keeping students in school, as many of them do not value education. Late arrivals, between 10:00 am and 11:00 am, are common, leading to delayed lessons. Lomilo attributed this tardiness to long distances and poor road networks, which discourage students from attending school regularly.
Lomilo further revealed that there is a negative attitude towards education, with parents often reserving girls for dowries and only allowing boys to receive an education. The students currently lack school uniforms as their parents cannot afford to buy them.
Filbert Baguma, the General Secretary of UNATU, emphasized their commitment to ensuring equal access to education for children in mining areas. Through partnerships with development organizations such as Save the Children and Nascent, under the project “Work No Child Business,” they aim to keep children in school despite the negative influences from parents who do not prioritize education.
Baguma stated that the provision of scholastic materials was in response to concerns raised by teachers about students’ lack of participation in classes due to the absence of writing materials.