As most schools especially in rural communities around the country grapple with heightened dropout rates, Yumbe district is a success story. The government has since constructed new school buildings to house the big Numbers of learners in 13 schools in the district.
Whereas most districts struggled with school dropouts after the lockdown, the case is different in Yumbe.
This community of mostly refugees managed to get almost all learners back to school as the Yumbe District Education Officer, Rasul Luriga explains.
“We realised that at least 150 children who have dropped out but that one can be distributed in the many schools because we have got 124 gov’t aided primary schools and of which we have also 25 in the settlement,” he said.
At Kanjia Primary School in Bidibidi refugee settlement, the head teacher Fred Opolot says they have only had two-drop outs.
“During the PLE hour one of the children lost the mother but we encouraged him and told him that the hope of the mother now remains with him and he was in a position to sit for the paper honourably.”
This school is also one of the beneficiaries of a joint classroom block construction program between the Governments of Uganda and Germany.
The school blocks, which have been built in 13 primary schools in Yumbe, were commissioned by the minister of relief, disaster preparedness and refugees Hillary Onek.
“This significant of launching these classrooms here. I passed here a few years ago, it was miserable. The school was miserable. But today with what I am seeing here is giving me a lot of encouragement,” he said.
He however rubber-stamped the government’s commitment to not just making the refugees’ lives better, but the host communities too.
Bidibidi refugee settlement is currently the world’s second-largest refugee settlement and the biggest in Africa covering 250km2 of land and housing mostly South Sudanese refugees.