President Yoweri Museveni is setting up a special fund; the West Nile Fund for Education, to cater for the education interests of West Nile region.
This was disclosed by the Minister for Northern Uganda, Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, while officiating at the leadership handover of Nebb-Zombo University Students Development Association (NUSDA) in Lugogo, Kampala, Saturday.
Kwiyucwiny, also the Woman MP for Zombo district, said President Museveni is appalled by the rapidly falling education standards in the northwestern region.
Zombo district, in particular, was the worst performing district in the 2016 Primary Leaving Examinations and one of the worst performing districts in both O and A level examinations.
The entire region, including districts like Nebbi, Arua, Maracha, Koboko, Yumbe, Moyo and Adjumani, also performed poorly. West Nile is also the poorest region in Uganda, ahead of only Karamoja.
Year-on-year the region has been performing poorly in national examinations, a sharp contrast to years back when the region’s schools like St Joseph’s College Ombaci, Mvara Secondary School and St Aloysius College Nyapea used to compete nationally.
The region’s elite and the rich take their children to schools in and around Kampala.
St Aloysius College, northern Uganda’s oldest secondary school at one time used to be one of the Top 10 schools in Uganda, but it has since gone to the dogs.
Kwiyucwiny said the appalling state of education in West Nile initially prompted Museveni to provide three scholarships for each of the eight districts in the region, but he later felt creating a long term seed education fund would be the most appropriate.
The minister said the fund will sponsor the top students with the aim that it will stimulate interest in education among the students, schools and the public.
Kwiyucwiny, who said she is very disappointed with last year’s examinations results, said she is convening a special meeting to discuss the appalling state of education in Zombo and Nebbi districts with the objective of charting the way ahead.
She rallied the students and all Alur people, particularly the elite, to look back and support education and other development initiatives in their homeland.
The State Minister for Energy, Eng. Simon Giw D’Ujanga advised the university students to continue inspiring students back home, adding that as leaders they will continue giving them the necessary support.
The students’ leader Opayak lambasted the Alur elite in Kampala for failing to support the students’ initiatives.
Dr Nicholas Olwor, the Secretary to the Equal Opportunities Commission, told the students to devise ways of reaching as many Alur elites as possible in order to improve their funding.
The patron of NUSDA, Allan Kajik, commended the students for the many development initiatives they are carrying back home. These include education tours, tree planting and skills training, among others.