School dropout hikes as dry spell continuous
By Ochola Sam Oryem
Nakasongola: The thriving prolong dry spell in Nakasongola district has not only frustrated the agricultural sector but also led to continuous dropout of pupils from school.
Scores of pupils in the rural areas of Nakasongola are now being forced to abandon school since their parents could not afford paying their fees. The only economic activity of most rural people is agriculture but they have been for a long time now rendered jobless as the agricultural sector continues to suffer the destruction of the prolonged dry spell.
Mr. Kasujja Kiribawa Samuel, Head teacher New Hope Kirembe Primary School Lwampanga, said that the school has experienced a landslide drop in the turn up of pupils to school by over 20%. “Our school is a parent school. It entirely depends on parents’ subscription through school fees. Unfortunately, most of the parents till the land for both consumption and money. So, the point is clear since they are not tilling, they have no money to bring their children to school.” Said Kasujja.
He also said that the school’s existence is also threatened because their only funders (parents) have run bankrupt. “Parents fund our school. They pay teachers, buy school apparatus and equipment, essentials for school’s operation without them we have no reason to exist.” He said. He therefore, called upon the government to intervene and rescue the future of their children which has been put at stake by the dry spell.
Fred Sabuga, a parent said he cannot afford to pay for his 5 children at school because he is just a peasant. “Until lately all my children have been at school but after the dry spell destroyed my hectares of maize and groundnuts, I was caught unaware. So, they will go back when the rain starts falling.” He said.
The Sub counties of Lwampanga and Wabinyonyi are the most affected parts of Nakasongola that one couldn’t recall the last time they receive rain since the year begun. Crops stunted and animals wonder in search of water and pastures in distances.