The tears of joy that Ivan Gisujje shed after emerging one of Mbale’s best 2019 Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) pupils, have now turned into pain.
Gisujje, a former pupil of Namalogo Primary School in Bungokho-Mutoto Sub-county, Mbale District scored Aggregate 10 and was the only pupil, who scored first grade in his school.
Lack of school fees for O-Level has become Gisujje’s nightmare and he is stuck at home. His colleagues [ the S.1 students] joined secondary on February 17 but Gisujje has failed to join any school over lack of tuition.
Daily Monitor learnt that even at primary level, the 11-year-old boy was being sponsored by his former school. His father, Mr Godfrey Gisujje, is said to have abandoned his mother five years ago due to unclear circumstances.
Gisujje’s mother, Ms Beatrice Muduwa, says she has not heard from the husband and has struggled to raise seven children.
In spite of the availability of free education under Universal Secondary Education (USE) arrangement, students are still required to pay a certain percentage of school dues and cater for other scholastic materials, a cost Gisujje cannot afford.
Gisujje, who was found at his former school with his mother and former teachers last week, wants to become a secondary school teacher. He had gone back to his former school to seek help.
“We are living a misery life because we even don’t have food, clothes and accommodation. My mother has no money to take me to school and yet I am ready to join Senior One like my colleagues,” said Gisujje who could not hold his tears.
He said he was trekking about 15kms to school on daily basis.
“Sometimes I may reach school late because of the distance and I was studying on an empty stomach without breakfast and lunch but thank God I managed to get 10 aggregates, “he said.
“I should be at school but I have nothing to do. I wish I was born in a well-off family like my colleagues, by now I would be at school but one day God will answer my prayers. I am here to plead with everyone to find me some school fees so that I can join secondary school,” he said.
Ms Muduwa narrated how she has struggled to look for school fees but without success and reiterated that her son needs school fees.
“I am not able to meet his school fees and other requirements because I also depend on well-wishers to get what to eat. I call on people to help my son realise his education dream,” she said.
His former class teacher, Mr Geoffrey Madoi, described Gisujje as a bright and hardworking boy.
“It’s because I don’t have money but I could help this boy for the good of his future. We appeal to the well-wishers out there to come in and help this bright boy,” Mr Madoi said.
“His home is very far from the school but despite the long distance, he made us proud by getting a first grade,” he said.