By Wetondo Denis Julius
As we enter in the second week since schools were opened across the country for candidate classes, government-aided primary schools in Mbale are struggling to operate with no money.
Most of the schools this reporter visited complained that the government token of Shs1.5M promised to every government aided primary school has not been disbursed.
Tom Husia, the deputy headteacher of Busamaga primary school, Industrial city division in Mbale City says that since the schools opened last week, they are facing challenges in terms of buying face masks for teachers, providing lunch for pupils and teachers also giving teachers transport for those who teach over time.
He added that they expected the government to release Shs1.5 million but the money has not been released.
Sarah Wambi, the headteacher of Bubilabi primary school in Bungokho sub-county, Mbale the district also says that parents have done very little in supporting the schools by paying small money claiming they have no money.
She added that following the government’s directive of not sending a child home for not fulfilling all school requirements, it’s becoming hard for them to run the school with no money.
Wambi also says that pupils are studying with no lunch which is unhealthy since they open at 7 am up to 6 pm to cover all work they missed in the last seven months during lockdown.
Robert Wangwe, the headteacher of Nabuyonga primary school also asked the government to respond by supporting the schools with small money as they are still waiting for 1.5 million shillings.
James Kutosi, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Mbale city said it’s the responsibility of parents to feed children at school.
He adds that if parents have failed to support schools by paying some small facilitation, government can do nothing.
However this has prompted Robert Wambende, the Senior Assistant Town Clerk of industrial city division in Mbale city also the chairperson of old boys at Bubilabi primary school to donate six twenty litter jerry cans of liquid soap and twenty bottles of sanitizers to Bubilabi primary school to help teachers and pupils.
Stephen Muhama and Peter Wamunga both parents from Busoba sub-county in Mbale district say that they have not just refused to support the schools by paying some money for lunch and allowances for teachers but the lockdown left them with no money.
They add that since the government accepted to support schools with 1.5 million it should help them to feed their children during this covid19 period until they recover financially.