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Moroto teachers use cassava as chalk

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A teacher tunes a lyre during last year’s primary school’s m

A teacher tunes a lyre during last year’s primary school’s music dance and drama competition in Moroto District. This year several schools have failed to participate in the competition due to delayed release of UPE grants. Photo by Steven Ariong  

By Steven Ariong

Posted  Thursday, July 31   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

The primary schools are facing a shortage of chalk due to delayed release of UPE grants.

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Moroto- Teachers in several primary schools in Moroto District have resorted to writing on blackboards using dried cassava due to a shortage of chalk.

The shortage of chalk was caused by the government’s delay to release Universal Primary Education (UPE) grants to schools.

Mr Peter Okedi, a teacher at Kakingole Primary School, said: “The cassava we are using at the moment and some that we gave to neighbouring schools was brought from Teso (sub-region) for eating but we have ended up using it as chalk.”
The district education officer, Mr Paul Oputa, said the delay to release UPE grants was hampering education.

“I appreciate those schools that are using cassava as chalks because they are committed to teach and that’s why they have decide to use their cassava meant for eating as chalks,” he said.

Mr Oputa appealed to the Education ministry to speed up the release of UPE grants to enable schools operate efficiently.

No sports, drama
The district inspector of schools, Mr George William Igune, said many schools were unable to participate in co-curricular activities such as sport, music, dance and drama.

Meanwhile, other primary schools visited by this newspaper in Karamoja sub-region are also facing a similar situation, with some teachers resorting to dictating in the class without writing due to lack of chalk.

Grace Naput, a pupil at Lokitela ebu Primary School in Kotido District, said most of time teachers dictate and they face a challenge of spelling some letters.

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