National, News

Parents sending children to study in Uganda over closure

By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto


As schools in South Sudan remain closed, some parents have resorted to sending their children to Uganda for studies.

The Ministries of Health and General Education last week, announced the closure of school due to extreme heat wave with temperatures expected to reach extreme levels between 41 and 45 degrees Celsius in Juba and other regions of the country over the next two weeks.

Moga Justine, a resident of Malakia East in Nimule Town Council, expressed his discontent, pointing out that the heat wave in Nimule is no different from that in neighbouring Ugandan districts like Amuru, where the schools remain open.

“Why would they close the schools in Nimule instead of Juba City,’’ he said.

“I have decided to transfer my kids to Bibia and others are in Bezza secondary school in Adjumani district,’’ he added.

Moga suggested that instead of closing schools, the government could have adjusted the learning hours to mitigate the effects of the heat.

This decision comes at a significant cost, with parents having to spend money on food supplies and even pay rent for accommodations in Uganda.

Lucy Mokomiku, a businesswoman operating in Motoyo East, lamented the financial losses she has incurred due to the sudden closure of schools.

She expressed frustration at having paid rent and purchased food supplies for her children, only to have the schools shut down.

“Look, I paid rent which cost me like 95,000ssp for the kids to live in while studying now schools have been shut down, this is a big loss,’’ she said.

Another parent, Manzu Solomon raised concerns about the potential long-term impact on girls’ education, fearing that some may become pregnant or never return to school when the government reopens educational institutions.

“You will believe with me that few girls may get pregnant, and others may not come back to school,’’ he said.

The government’s decision to close schools aims to protect students from heat-related illnesses, particularly meningitis.

Health Minister Yolanda Awel Deng advised parents to ensure that their children remain indoors and well-hydrated during this period.

The directive warns that any school found operating during the closure would face the risk of having its registration revoked.

The academic calendar indicates that the first term began on February 5, 2024, and concluded on May 10, 2024.

The second term is scheduled to commence on May 27 and end on September 6, with the third term starting on September 23 and concluding on December 20, 2024.


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