School Children Face Arrest For Working In Refugee Camps

2371 Views Adjumani, Uganda

In short
Adjumani district leaders are exerting pressure on parents who have allowed their children do odd jobs at Pakele refugee centre instead of going to school. A report compiled by the district education department showed that at least 3,800 pupils had dropped out of school and are offering cheap labour at the refugee base.

Adjumani district leaders are exerting pressure on parents who have allowed their children do odd jobs at Pakele refugee centre instead of going to school.
 
Reports have emerged that most of the school age-going children spend their time providing cheap labour at the refugee base. This has reportedly affected the school enrolment this term. The most affected sub-counties are Pakelle, Dzaipi, Arinyapi and Pachara. A report compiled by the district education department showed that at least 3,800 pupils had dropped out of school and are offering cheap labour at the refugee base.
 
Alarmed by the high dropout rate, the district leaders have agreed to arrest such children who have dropped out of school.
 
John Sabuni, the councillor representing Arinyapi sub-county says they will liaise with the education department, police and the sub-county leadership while carrying out the operation. Sabuni, who coordinates refugee issues at the district council, says parents of the arrested children will be taken to courts of law.
 
Mark Ambayo, the District Education Officer, says this decision by the leaders will improve enrolment in schools. He however says the leaders should not use police to enforce the orders. Ambayo says sub-counties must enact bylaws to address the problem in the districts.
 
A survey carried out by the education department showed that, since the start of the new school term most school age going children staying next to the refugee camps have not reported to school.