The Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer Martin Jacan Gwokto during the commissioning ceremony says the library will help to improve education of children in the district that still grapples with high dropout and illiteracy rates.
A multi-million library block has been in Kitgum District. The
facility is expected to boost the literacy level among children from the once
war afflicted region of Northern Uganda.
The library block constructed at a tune of 325 million shillings was
commissioned by the Japanese ambassador to Uganda Kameda Kazuaki on Tuesday and
handed to Kitgum district local government.
Its construction was funded with part of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots
Human Security Projects (GGP), a scheme administered by the Embassy of Japan to
support community development projects to uplift the lives of people at the
The Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer Martin Jacan Gwokto says the library will help to improve education of children
in the district that still grapples with high dropout and illiteracy rates.
Kitgum district illiteracy rate stands at 36 percent, while 56 percent of
primary school children drop out before reaching primary seven, a factor
attributed to the two-decade lord’s resistance army led insurgency.
According to Gwokto, about 54 percent of children from the district were
directly affected from attaining formal education due to the insurgency in the
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Gwokto says the library will help to instil hygiene training among the children
who will be using it given the fact that the district still has high cases of
open defection with only one sub-county free of the vice.
The library according to Gwokto will target about 200,000 children.
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Jackson Omona, the Kitgum LCV Chairperson says the investments is strategic
since it backs up the local government’s initiative to improve the reading
culture in the district.
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The Japanese ambassador, however, called on the various stakeholders in the
district to ensure that all children take the opportunity to utilize the
facility for their educational activities.
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He also pledged that the Japanese government is committed in investing in
educational projects in the region citing that a total of 77 projects have so
far been implemented in northern Uganda.
The newly commissioned children’s library is equipped with a latrine block,
solar-powered lighting system, library furniture and water tanks for conducive
Kitgum district is still grappling with poor performances of children in
national examinations compared to other parts of the country due to limited
access to education facilities and materials.
For instance, in the recently released Primary Leaving Education Exams [PLE],
only 221 pupils scored first grade out of 3,605 pupils who sat within the
municipality and district level.