MOROTO – More than 600 Karimojong children enrolled in different schools in Rupa Sub-County in Moroto district have abandoned school to engage in gold mining activities.
According to the Rupa Sub County LC3 chairperson Mr. Daniel Apolo, the gold mining site located in Rupa Sub-County is full of school-going age children.
He told PML Daily on Friday that since the third term opened, a big number of children have not reported to school.
He noted that in his recent tour of four primary schools in the sub-county he found that the number of children present in these four primary schools since the schools opened this term cannot reach 1000.
“We have four primary schools in the sub-county but these schools are almost remaining empty because even the children who went back to school this term are also admiring their colleagues getting money and they are running away,” he said.
Mr. Francis Olinga one of the teachers from Rupa primary school revealed that last year the school had a total number of 800 pupils right from P.1 to P.7 but this third term the total number of pupils present had dropped up to the total number of 200 saying the rest of pupils have gone back to stay with their parents.
He said the major course making pupils to run away from schools is because schools are no longer getting relief food.
“It was relief food which schools used to get from WFP was the one pulling children to school and keeping them but now since WFP stopped giving food to schools children are running away, “he said.
Mr. Apollo, however, said the sub-county council will begin arresting the pupils in the site taking them back to school.
The Moroto district education officer Mr. Paul Oputa confirmed to this website that there is a big number of children who have dropped out of school.
However, he said the education department is planning to launch a sensitization campaign on the advantage of education and dangers of school dropouts.
The Moroto district Speaker Ms Adero Loki called NGOs dealing with the education department in the district to help the district to de-campaign school dropout.