Moroto district schools registered low attendance on Monday as the new school term opened.
Most schools visited by the Uganda Radio Network in the municipality and the surroundings had a dozen or no pupils in the school compound.
Naitakwae, Rainbow and Rupa Primary schools outside Moroto town had no pupils at all by 11.00 in the morning.
At the popular Moroto Municipal Primary school at least 300 pupils had turned up at the opening of the new term out of 1,068. Kasimeri Primary school, only 88 pupils were present out the enrolled 810 pupils, and only 12 teachers out 36 had reported for duty according to the arrival book.
Okello Abedism, the head teacher at Kasimeri Primary School, attributes the poor turn on the negligence of parents. He explains that being a dry season, children are sent to collect firewood, cut grass to supplement the income of the family. He adds that his school was facing a big challenge with staffing since most of his teachers were not on the payroll.
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Meanwhile, Kakoliye Primary school in Moroto Municipality registered no pupil out of the 338 expected numbers for the new term.
Emilly Loumo, the headmistress, says chronic absenteeism affects pupils performance from day one. She advises the pupils to do away with the belief that reporting on the first day means doing a lot work such as sweeping, slashing among others.
She appeals to the Education department to carry out a massive campaign on the usefulness of education. She adds that most children were busy in the gold mines disregarding education as a tool for the future.
Efforts to talk to Paul Abul, Moroto District Education Officer, were futile as his phone was reportedly not available.