The Uganda Ministry of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees is a Cabinet level government Ministry of Uganda responsible for the coordination of all refugee matters in the country. The ministry works towards strengthening capacities for mitigation, preparedness, and response to natural and human induced disasters.
Following the reopening of schools on January 10, 2022 by the government after their closure for a period of two years, the Minister of State for Relief, Disaster preparedness and Refugees, Esther Davinia Anyakun, visited Longamere Primary School to establish the progress of teaching and learning activities. This was part of her general visit to Refugee settlements in Arua Region (Rhino Camp – Omugo and Yoro Base Camps, and Imvepi Settlements). On her visit, the Minister was joined by (among others) UNHCR Country Representative, UNHCR Head of Sub-Office Arua, Refugee Desk Officer (RDO), and UNHCR SOA Field Protection Unit. At the School, they were received by WIU Regional Programme Coordinator – Arua Region, Settlement manager, and the Head teacher.
Key highlights of the Visit
- Imvepi Refugee Settlement Education Sector Fact Sheet Prepared by WIU – Arua, was presented to the Minister and other visitors upon their arrival at the School. This detailed the general overview of the Education response interventions in the settlement led by Windle International Uganda, with support from other partners. The visitors showed interest in the Pre-Covid-19 attendance and enrolment rates, Versus the current
- The Minister, and the UNHCR Country Rep visited Primary Six Class and interacted with the learners. Focus here was on the number of girls present versus that of boys; male pupils were more than the They also recognized the continuity of the teaching and learning activities in the class.
- The team also visited primary Seven Class housed in a temporary Shelter. They were concerned about the worrying state of the classroom structure that needed to be urgently rehabilitated. The minister was informed of the fact that the school’s Code needed reactivation that would open the tributary of government aid. The minister emphasized that more support had to be provided by UNHCR to the
- The visit ended with a Dinner at Desert Breeze Hotel, Arua City. In their address, the Minister, and the UNHCR Country Rep pledged to provide more support to the education sector.
- The need for construction of Permanent Classrooms was established by the visiting
- There were more male pupils compared to the female pupils in the school. Thus, the rationale for implementation of activities to boost the increase in enrolment and attendance rates of girls in school was
- The School was to be supported with temporary Shelters to decongest the classrooms already in existence and improve on the learning
- The construction of teachers’ accommodation units had to be given priority as well.
- UNHCR had allocated 400,000USD to cater for the construction of temporary Classrooms (Especially tents) in all the refugee schools across the Uganda
Article Compiled by;
Regional Programme Coordinator, Arua Region.