According to the district Education Officer of Pader district Mr Charles Okidi Obole, the number of children dropping out of school continues to rise and the most affected schools in the district are those in Atanga, Lagut, Awer and Angagura sub counties.
“Some children are not sick but due to the fears among the parents, many opt to keep their children at home,” he said.
He added that enrolment in schools in the region will continue to dwindle, for as long as there is lack of progress in finding a cure or vaccine to the nodding disease, which is greatly hampering education in the region.
The LCV chairperson for Pader district who is also the chairperson on the district nodding disease task force Mr Alfred Akena reported that new cases are continuously being registered and it is the school going age that is affected the most.
“The future of our children is un-predictable, parents have decided to keep their children in their homes for fear that their children might contact the diseases,” he said.
Mr Akena noted that from last year to date over 1,700 children in the district have been affected by the syndrome. By the end of last term, out of the 200 pupils in Aruu Primary School, 95 have fallen victims to the disease.
There are also fears that the children are being prevented from registering in schools due to fears amongst parents, many are opting to either keep their children home.
Meanwhile in Kitgum, the District Education Officer Mr Celest Lamakio Odonga noted that there should be mass sensitisation among the teachers about the diseases especially when children are attacked, so that the teachers know what to do.
“Due to lack of skills in giving first aid to such children, parents opt to keep their children at home under their supervision. Some teachers also keep their distance when children are attacked thinking that it’s contagious,” he said.
He added that similarly in Kitgum by the end of last term, in Layam, Akwanga and Amida sub counties, over 200 pupils were affected by the diseases.
The Nodding disease coordinator Dr Bernard Opar noted that the Ministry of Health is soon beginning a sensitisation programme targeted at teachers on the best way to help children especially when they are attacked.
Due to the mental retardation caused by the syndrome, Dr Opar noted that the ministry of education will also come up with a special needs program to address the issue. By A Web design Company
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