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Increasing school Dropouts Worry Authorities in Rukungiri

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In an interview with Chimpreports, the area chairman Beach Management Unit Muzaifa Baribarisigala noted that most of the children in the area have resorted to fishing and abandoning school at a tender age.

“We have tried to chase them away from the landing site but all in vain because as they earn a lot of money from the lucrative business,’’ stressed Baribarisigala adding that in the evening the children spend all their daily earnings at the local bars and discotheques.

”The children abandon classes and engage in activities like fishnet drying and sorting on top of selling the fish,’’ explained Baribarisigala.

The Officer in Charge for Rwenshama police post Ignatius Mugisha noted that police had tried to stop the children from engaging in such activities but stressed that parents never cooperated with them.

‘’Most parents don‘t want their children to go to school because they go with them to the landing sites,” explained the police officer noting that defilement cases have increased in the area due to employment of young children at the landing site.

”Police have tried to arrest the defilement suspects but lack evidence because parents get money from the suspects and settle the matters secretly,’’ added Baribarisigala.

However one of the parents contributed the increasing school drop outs to absenteeism by the teachers at schools.

‘’The teachers in schools also engage in fishing activities instead of going to class leaving the children without any one to teach them,’’ explained Amidu Ayinobushoboroozi a 45 year old mother.

He said that most teachers at the landing site have bought boats and nets and cannot find time to go to class and teach.

Swaibu Ganilu a 53 year old parent noted that the area has one primary school which makes it difficult for parents from distant places to send their children to school.

Ganilu added that it is difficult for the parents’ to send their children to school for fear of being attacked by wild animals because of the area being in Queen Elizabeth National park.

A visit to Rwenshama Public school the only school in the parish showed that the government aided school was closed and pupils plus the teachers were away.


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