Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Bumarakha primary school in Bumarakha parish in Bulucheke Sub-county in Bududa District has remained closed since the 2010 landslides.
Government closed the school after landslides hit the district and affected two villages killing 18 people and injured several others. Hundreds of others were displaced from their homes. Government closed the school for fear that pupils would be swept by the lands slide. Apparently, most of the pupils were relocated to Shikhusi and Shikholo Primary Schools, which are more than 20 kilometers away.
Beatrice Nabifo, a resident of Bumarakha parish, says Bumarakha primary school was the only hope of their children to get education. She however, says they now have to move for more than 20 kilometers to schools in the neighboring Sub counties, which is very tiresome.
Michael Wambi, a pupil of Shikholo primary school, says the long distance he treks to school has affected his performance compared to when he was at Bumarakha.
Stephen Mutuba a former pupil of Bumarakha primary school says after closure of the school, he dropped out and resorted to selling sugar canes.
He says he decided to abandon school because the next school was very far from his home and he couldn’t manage walking the long distance each day, more especially when it rains because this put his life in danger.
Vicente Matanda, the Bududa District Senior Education Officer, advised parents to put the complaint in writing if they want their school revived. He said the school was closed because of the threat of landslides in the area, saying they need to be convinced that is secure from landslides if they are to open it.
Wilson Watira, the Bududa District Chairperson, says the decision to close the school came from the central government, which finances its operations.
He says they have repeatedly written to the Prime Minister’s Office on the need to reopen the school but haven’t received a response. He appealed to parents to endure the current situation and they push for the revival of the school.
A recent study conducted by the Germany-based Education International showed that long journeys to school have a negative impact on pupil’s health and education achievement levels.