MOROTO –Musupo Primary School is located in Katikekile sub-county, Moroto district in the Karamoja sub-region.
The school has a population of 177 pupils, 10 of whom are primary seven candidates about to sit their final examinations in this Covid-19 ravaged era. Eight are on the verandah waiting for the candidates to create space.
According to the school head teacher, Simon Opolot, his pupils were doing miracles in co-circular activities until Ugandan authorities announced in March 2020 that Covid-19 had reached the country.
“We were participating in MMD (Music Dance and Drama) and athletics on a regular basis and our performance was encouraging.
“And as for other (sporting) activities like football; we had earmarked space for a playground but as we were about to clear and make good use of it; the pandemic was declared to be amidst us – and that marked the end for the time being,” said Mr Opolot, without any further elaborations.
Indeed the said playground does exist but it takes someone with keen interested to figure out its purpose – for whereas metallic goalposts were erected on both sides as other normal pitches, the Musupo administration seem to have done it for a formality.
The unlevelled playing surface of the pitch at Musupo; overgrown grass is a challenge that could easily pass unnoticed but the trees – moreover with sharp thorns – overshadowing goalposts on both sides describes a different situation – far away from the head teacher’s explanation.
The school has benefited from Food and Agriculture Organisation – FAO as well as the European Union – EU’s support towards the fight against wood energy challenge; and at a nearby plot trees planted about a year or so ago, have started taking shape. As such, the same ought to be done to the playground to provide pupils at this school a holistic learning environment.
The department of Physical Education and Sports under the Ministry of Education and Sports has the mandate to develop, co-ordinate all physical education and sports activities in the country but unfortunately, many of such obligations remain on paper.
Sport plays a bonding role in helping learners absorb important skills to function socially –it has both physical and psychological benefits to learners – hence contributing towards achieving certain aspects of life – besides the other incentive that lure Karamojong to go to school – sport should the other.
At most, learners, who engage in sport acquire virtues and positive attributes such as team work, self-discipline, increased self – esteem, hard work and determination. Sport also creates a good platform for learners to get education scholarship to further their aspirations.
As Nelson Mandela once said, sport has the power to change the world.