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COVID 19 CONSEQUENCES OF EDUCATION IN AROMO ,OGUR AND LIRA SUBCOUNTIES.

August 26, 2022      

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COVID 19 CONSEQUENCES OF EDUCATION IN AROMO ,OGUR AND LIRA SUBCOUNTIES.

Women Leadership Development-WLEDE conducted a rapid survey of COVID-19 consequences in the education sector in March 2022. This was after a two-year-long lockdown of schools, tertiary institutions, and universities countrywide. The survey was conducted in Lira City, Aromo, and Ogur sub-counties in Lira District.

The objective of the survey was to assess the impact of COVID-19 on primary education in Lira City, Aromo, and Ogur sub-counties. The survey involved conducting one-on-one meetings and interviews using questionnaires by 153 respondents. These included the District Education Officer, Sub-County chiefs, Head Teachers, teachers, and pupils of government and private schools, mapped purposefully depending on their inclusiveness and women and men in the community.

This survey revealed challenges in primary education during and after the lockdown that included: an increase in teenage pregnancies; early child marriages; and the perception of the value of girl child education by communities. It was also noted that while there is a decrease in the number of girls in upper primary classes, the reverse is true; there is a high increase in the number of girls in lower primary classes. Other challenges included the government’s lack of funds to refurbish existing school infrastructure and the development of new classrooms to accommodate the high numbers of children that enrolled after the reopening of schools. For people with disabilities (PWDs), there are only two primary schools in the district that don’t have adequate special education teachers or PWD-designed washroom facilities. Coupled with long distances to the schools, very few children attend school.

Furthermore, the economic impact of the national lockdowns and the associated prevention guidelines, especially the suspension of businesses (vending and hawking) that most people engaged in, exacerbated social and economic vulnerabilities, increasing poverty levels in the communities, thus affecting moral values and parental care for the children.

Lastly, the pandemic exposed government fragilities, which included the poor performance of roles by the different government education departments in schools and the oversight role of district leaders. To address the effects of COVID-19, this survey proposes to address the limited political oversight at the district level by developing the capacity of the elected leaders to promote downward political social accountability, policy engagement, and civic awareness among the communities.