17-year-old Geoffrey Ayela says he was promoted to Primary Seven after he excelled in 2013, which was enough proof of his remarkable recovery from the illness.
A teenager afflicted by the nodding syndrome in Pader district is unhappy that the administration of Akelokongo Primary School blocked him last year from sitting his primary leaving examinations citing his condition. 17-year-old Geoffrey Ayela says he was promoted to Primary Seven after he excelled in 2013, which was enough proof of his remarkable recovery from the illness.
He says he was shocked when Alex labongo, the school head teacher stopped him from filling the PLE forms. Ayela told a community meeting convened by district leaders in Libi Village, Bur Lobo Parish in Angagura Sub County over the weekend, that the action stigmatized and forced him out of school. He told the meeting that the head teacher humiliated him before his colleagues by publicly declaring that he won’t pass his national exams adding that, there was no need registering him.
Cilbia Akello, a resident of the area agrees with Ayela. She says they have stopped many of their children from going to school due to the serious discrimination they face at schools. The parents demanded that government construct schools for special needs children in the area to educate and rehabilitate them. They said they have registered up to 168 children afflicted by nodding syndrome under their association in Burlobo Parish alone.
AlexLabongo, the head teacher Akelokongo Primary School has not yet commented as he couldn’t be reached by the time of filing this story. Susan Uma Adong, a Social Worker with the Catholic Relief Organization, Caritas says it was wrong for schools to discriminate the children. Adong says despite having a retarded brain functions, the children should be allowed to socialize in communities in order for them to cope with their environments and develop.
Justine Lungajul, the Pader resident district commissioner has pledged to investigate the matter and have the perpetrators arrested for violating the principles of Universal Primary Education (UPE).