Greetings from Bombo.
We thank God school has reopened fully after close to two years. This does not mean that the covid-19 situation is better now, but people have somehow learnt how to live with it.
The infection rate stands at 16% which is quite lower than the previous weeks. So, there is some hope that may be life will resume normalizing. most activities in the country are open and more are expected to resume by 24th according to the president.
Students have reported to school in big number, including those that had earlier dropped out of school. Though this might not be the case for other many schools where reporting is tied to full payment of fees. Unfortunately the financial crisis is unbearable, when many parents completely fail to raise a penny to enable us work on the basics of the school. It is therefore a difficult decision to take, whether to allow them or not.
However it is expected that around 40% of the students country wide may fail to return to school either due to fees problems or dropout due to pregnancies or poor attitude. We are yet to establish the actual number so far present, but reporting is daily.
There is a general loss of teachers in the country, many diverting to other employment opportunities or going for jobs especially to the Middle East and Canada! St peters has lost about seven too, including the nurse, security people and cooks.
Three L.A.P teachers also did not report back, including Luzze Deo, Ssewanyana Brian and Mirimu Isaac However, Vicent Ssekyewa, Paul Ochieng and Agnes Nannyonga are still with us. We ask for youir permission if we can replace them. Isaac wanted to a salary that was four times higher if he was to stay, Deo says his crop garden in the village was yielding more than teaching whereas Brian became a sales agent of a phones importer. (the information of teachers leaving may not be made public on the web since it demoralizes publicly) .
There is a big crisis too from teachers, who are now constantly demanding for salary increase if they are to stay around. This is generally everywhere! This is partly due to shortage, but also due to the heavy domestic demands after lock-down, raising school fees in almost all schools in Uganda, very high current cost of living among other reasons To some how implement social distancing, we are currently working on roofing the unfinished dining hall behind the main hall with both eucalyptus trees we cut behind our compound and the cheapest iron sheets to create classes, such that some classes can become dorms. we have some bricks made during covid to help making partitions.
we see where they will end.we lost many desks which break as soon as they sit on them! our oven also split in parts on day two of cooking! we are planning to talk to Derrick who made it,to see if he can make others and be paid later or next term. this is an expensive project.Generally, apart from parents going through an economic crisis, students and teachers mood just in regaining state, unfitting uniforms and operational demands on our side, the environment is good and we are still healthy with no noticeable illness in school yet.
We thank you so much for being with us in all good and challenging situations.
Yours in Christ,Ronald