30 best PLE candidates win scholarships from CIDI

Owek. Dr Ben Mukwaya listening to some of students from Nakapiripirit after receiving them at Kakiri secondary school -Naddangira

At least 30 best candidates in 2023 Primary Leaving Examination from Nakapiripirit and Yumbe districts have received scholarships from Community Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI) to support their secondary Education.

Out of these, 17 are coming from Napiananya primary school in Nakapiripirit District in Karamoja sub-Region, 10 from Yumbe District and 3 from Bidibidi Refugee settlement.

According to the Deputy Executive director of CIDI, Ms Hellen Kasujja, the scholarship is valid till senior six and learners will study from Wakiso Based Kakiri Secondary school in Nadangira and St Jude Katende secondary school along Masaka road.

Ms Hellen Kasujja, CIDI deputy executive director

She added that the idea that was initiated by the former Buganda kingdom Health minister Owek. Dr. Ben Kiwanuka Mukwaya and Owek. Bwenvu who are CIDI board members, aims at improving the education levels in these communities where learners are coming from.

“This is the very first time we are giving out scholarships and we are very excited that we are creating a change agents. These are going to be game changers for both Karamoja region and for Yumbe district’’Ms. Helen Kasujja said while handing over the 17 students to Owek. Dr Ben Mukwaya Kiwanuka the director of Kakiri Secondary School on 19th Feb, 2024.

Owek. Dr Ben Mukwaya speaking to students and other guests at Kakiri secondary school -Naddangira

While receiving these learners, Dr. Ben Kiwanuka Mukwaya urged the central government to deliberately invest in education and health systems of the country.

‘’Education changes someone’s body outlook, it builds the potentials of people where they can be in position to give back to the society’’. Dr. Mukwaya noted.

Adding that, “This country if is going to prosper, we need an enlightened society and you cannot achieve enlightened society if people are not well educated and more so government should make deliberate efforts to put enough money in education if the government do that this country will prosper and transform in a very shortest time,”

Dr Mukwaya also cautioned parents against considering girls as their sources of wealth.

When I visited Napanyanyi primary school four months ago, one of their teacher made a statement that touched me, He said ‘Dr. do you see these girls their parents are negotiating to have them married off, They are not going to proceed to secondary school are the boys majority of the them are going to start looking after cattle. So I gave bursaries to 20 students who will get first grades unfortunately on three did,” Dr. Mukwya stated.

Hellen Loit, of the beneficiaries from Napiananya primary school

Dr. Mukwaya encouraged these learners to maintain discipline and believe in themselves despite their humble background.

‘’If these learners were able to obtain second and first grades from such areas, they are actually very intelligent students whose future is very bright. So, we want them to maintain that hard work and discipline” He emphasized.

Mr. Ayopo Andrew, the head teacher Napiananya primary school, noted that one of the major challenges to education in Karamoja region is the negative attitudes of some parents against girl child education.

‘’In Karamoja our parents don’t take girl education as very important because when they take a girl to school , it is like she is taken to practice prostitution. That’s why you see in primary one the enrollment of girls could be like three hundred four hundred but when it goes to Primary two it reduces and I. primary seven you can find 40 or 50 or lesser than that’’. Mr. Ayopo said.

He also mentioned poverty as one of the biggest challenge in these communities whereby some parents cannot afford to pay school fees for their children

Some of beneficiaries from Napiananya primary school in Nakapiripirit

‘’Now, with this support from CIDI, the school’s enrollment is now full. Actually last year we had enrollment of 1351 pupils but this year because of this impact the enrollment is overwhelming. We are so grateful, not only us the school but the community is so impressed by the works of CIDI and we feel that CIDI should take Napiananya primary school as model for Karamoja region’’. He said

Ms Hellen Loit, one of the beneficiaries from Napiananya primary school thanked CIDI for the opportunity.

‘’I got 15 aggregates in the 2023 primary leaving exams and I don’t take this bursary opportunity for granted. It will help me to achieve my dreams and became a person who will cause an impact in her area’’. She added.

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