Busia district COVID-19 Taskforce has stopped Ugandan learners from crossing to Kenya for studies. A number of parents in Busia enrolled their children in neighbouring schools in Kenya government announced the nationwide lockdown in March last year because of the staggered opening of classes in Uganda.
A few parents managed to enrol their children in boarding schools while other children attend day schools and cross the border to attend classes in the morning and return home in the evening. Buses from the Kenyan schools pick the children in the morning and return them after class hours.
However, during a COVID-19 Taskforce meeting held on Tuesday to review on prepare for the enforcement of the new COVID-19 containment measures announced by the president on Sunday evening, the task force resolved to stop Ugandan children from crossing to Kenya for studies.
John Rex Aachila, the Busia Resident District Commissioner-RDC, says that the decision is to ensure strict implementation of presidential directives to contain the second wave of coronavirus.
According to Aachila, the He says that they have also realised problems at the one-stop border post- OSBP where truckers and private individuals from Kenya are using forged coronavirus certificates to cross into the country. He says that confiscated over 50 forged certificates in February and March this year and subjected those implicated to fresh COVID-19 tests but some of them refused and were denied entry. children crossing the border for studies and return home pose a danger to the community.
Gabriel Barasa Makanga, the Senior Busia District Education Officer, says that the children, who were stealthily rushed to study in Kenya schools, are now confused and have failed to perform in their respective classes. He says that there is need to sensitize parents who are paying hefty fees for their children to study in Kenya to abide by the current situation and let their children stay home so that they can return to their respective schools when the situation normalizes.
Dr. Mathias Wabwire Panyako, the Busia District Health Officer says that the situation in the area is alarming because coronavirus cases have surged even among the children returning from schools in Kenya. He says that by Tuesday this week, Busia district had registered 7 death cases, 126 confirmed positive out of 5123 samples that were taken in the lab for testing.
Bruno Omuse, a parent of a primary six pupil at Mama Kevin nursery and primary school in Kenya, says that it’s difficult for him to sit with a child especially a girl at home waiting for the staggered education programs in Uganda yet in Kenya schools are operating normally.
Stephen Ojambo, another parent of 3 children at St Mary’s nursery and primary school in Busia Kenya says that the decision by the district taskforce is not fair because it will disrupt the studies of their children.