A number of schools in Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Town Council in Kasese district have continued registering a low turn-up of learners following the attack on Mpondwe-Lhibiriha Secondary School.
On Tuesday, the Kasese District Education Officer-DEO George Mainja ordered all learners to return to school except for Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Secondary School, which remains a crime scene. At least 43 people including 37 students died in an attack in Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Secondary School suspected to have been staged by the rebel Allied Democratic Forces-ADF last Friday.
The attack threw neighboring schools into fear with some of the learners and their teachers abandoning classes on Monday and Tuesday. A mini survey conducted by this publication on Wednesday showed that a number of learners were yet to return to school while many have abandoned the boarding sections.
Muhindo Seperasi, the deputy head teacher in charge of academics at Nyabugando Baptist Secondary School told URN that only four students in the boarding section out of the 280 have reported back. The learners in the boarding section were released to go home on Saturday and return on Monday for normal classes.
Muhindo added that they have considered calling a school meeting for parents to mobilize them to send back their children to school. The school, which is about a kilometer from Mpondwe-Lhubiriha SS has been given two UPDF soldiers to boast its security.
Joshua Mbusa, the head teacher of Green Valley Preparatory School, says that parents have restricted their children from getting back to school because of fear given the fact that many have ever interacted with ADF atrocities. The school had an enrolment of 179 pupils on Friday last week but only 130 were present on Wednesday with the head teacher informing URN that parents informed him that they are uncertain of their children’s safety.
Musa is worried that the present situation is likely to affect the school program and the general performance of learners.
The Mpondwe SDA Secondary School Director of Studies, Keith Katalyabundu told URN that there is still a somber mood among students and the surrounding community after their neighboring school lost 37 students to the attack. Fifty-seven-day scholars out of 200 were present while only eight boarding students had gone back to school 79 by Wednesday.
But at Bwera Secondary School, head teacher Yokonia Bwambale said studies resumed normally on Monday and they have had support from Uganda Police Force to heighten the security at the school.
Josephine Natasha, a senior two student at Nyabuganda Baptist is one of those in the boarding section who has opted to commute from home. She says her parents advised her not to join boarding until they are sure of the security in the area.
Lucky Desili, a senior three student at Mondwe SDA, says that although he woke up with fear on Saturday after receiving the news of an attack on Mpondwe Lhubiriha SS, he opted to stay in school after seeing heavy UPDF deployment around the area.
Yunus Kahwa, the Mpondwe LC III Vice Chairperson, says that they are embarking on sensitization campaigns to encourage parents to allow their children to resume school.