By Spy Uganda
Busia: A section of parents in Busia district have opted to take their children to Kenyan schools following the school’s uncertainty in Uganda.
Last week president Museveni allowed schools to reopen for semi-candidates starting March 1, 2021, whereas children in lower classes have to wait until the county secures Covid -19 vaccines which are yet to come next month according to the President.
Schools in Kenya reopened in the first week of January 2021 after being closed for nine months to contain the new strain of Coronavirus, however, Uganda only opened for candidate classes in September, while semi-finalists are expected to return to school on March 1, 2021.
According to a tentative calendar which was released by the Ministry of Education and Sports, the rest of the learners are expected back after the candidates have completed their Primary Leaving Examinations on March 31. However, Nursery schools will remain closed indefinitely because of the complexities in enforcing Standard Operating Procedures among toddlers.
The arrangement has left a number of parents puzzled and desperately looking for solutions to keep children away from home. In Busia, a district at the Eastern border of Uganda and Kenya, parents with children in lower Primary classes are taking advantage of the proximity to tap into the opportunity for continuous learning across the border.
Melika Auma, a resident of Nangwe-Mugungu village in the Western division of Busia Municipality says that she doesn’t want her children to remain redundant at home, and has since registered her two children who are in nursery and P.2 classes at St. Mary’s nursery and P/S in Busia Kenya.
Moses Wafula, another resident at the border district also feels relieved that his uncle was able to register his three children in nursery, Primary one and Primary three in a Kenya school. Steven Ojambo, a parent with three children, and a teacher at St, Mary’s Nursery and Primary School, in Busia Kenya says that several parents are utilizing the Kenyan opportunity, regardless of the cost which is a little high compared to Uganda but Kenyan lower primary syllabus is of a high standard.
Geoffrey Kawo Mbulu, the chairman of Mugungu village noted that Kenyan schools are also aggressively looking for learners from the Ugandan side. They provide transport means from the Kenyan side with buses seen crossing the borders as early as 6 a.m., to pick learners, who are brought back home at sunset.
Geoffrey Barasa, the chairman of Nangwe shops confirms that a number of parents in the area have opted to take their children in Kenya because they are tired of sitting with them at home.
Samuel Barasa, the chairman Uganda National Teacher’s Union-UNATU in charge of Eastern Region, also headteacher of Lunyo Hill SS applauded parents for the decision saying that this will enable learners in lower classes to get a good education foundation which is more emphasized in Kenya.