ARUA. Plan Internal Uganda with support from School in a bag, a nongovernmental organization based in United Kingdom has started distributing free scholastic materials to lower primary pupils from ten schools in three refugees hosting districts in West Nile region.
The four schools in Arua district benefiting under the program include Green Valley Nursery and Primary school Olua in Katrini sub-county, Agomvususu primary school in Rigbo sub-county, Imvenga and Kiriduku primary schools all in Odupi sub-county.
Others to benefit from the project include two in Yumbe and four in Adjumani district.
The program that kicked off on Friday at Green hill nursery and primary school equipped each pupil from P1-4 with a bag containing a set, exercise books, drawing book, pens, a dozen of pencils and coloured pencils.
Ms Jessica Ilomu, the Plan International Uganda program manager for education said they have invested shs100 million to secure the scholastic materials.
She said they are motivating the lower primary school children who are interested in school to be in school and complete primary level.
“We believe with this support, the children will be interested in being at school but also we want to see that the attendance of the children will be kept very well to complete school”, Ilomu remarked.
She challenged the parents to value the education of their children more especially the girl child to be better citizens.
“Does anyone want his or her child to be a thief or a bagger, so educate your children to become professionals as a teacher, doctor, engineers or managers, remember girls have more chances to be employed than boys”, Ilomu lamented.
Ms Eunice Acen, the organization’s Education officer based in Arua noted that the support they are giving for the host communities is part of 30% of the total support they give for the refugees.
“These are the hosting communities who welcomed the refugees on their land, we cannot abandon and forget about them because the refugees have strained their resources”, Acen noted.
Ms Molly Ceniru, the head teacher of Green Hill Nursery and Primary school said the support has put a full stop to the most challenging problem the pupils in the school were facing due to inadequate parental support.
“Most parents were not helping their children with all these scholastic materials and sometimes children go to school with books in their bare hands, they are very happy to receive the little support you have given them, God bless you”, Ceniru said.
Mr Cleto Kandumini ,77 years old grandfather of a pupil from the school said the support has relieved the burden on parents, he pledged to support his grandchild to keep the items well to improve his education.