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May 24, 2024
Kampala Daily

Luuka District Grapples with Students Carrying Machetes to School

Authorities in Luuka district have raised concern over the growing trend of students carrying machetes to classes for use in sugarcane cutting during lunch breaks.

The Luuka District Education Officer, Francis Kamyuka, says this was discovered during a routine inspection of schools, and expresses fear over the risks involved with carrying sharp objects to schools by students from different backgrounds.

“We landed on bags with machetes which reportedly belonged to the students and were told that they (students) break off after lunch and use them for sugarcane cutting to earn money for survival,” Mr Kamyuka said on Monday.

He cites Bukanga Seed Secondary School in Bukanga sub-county as one of the schools where machetes were found in students’ bags.

“It is crystal clear about the pending risks of allowing machetes in a school with people of different behaviour because with any slight mistake, we may see bloodshed,” Mr Kamyuka added.

He, however, blamed parents for their alleged failure to monitor their children while reportedly pushing them into sugarcane-cutting as a part-time activity during school time so as to feed them.

Subsequently, Mr Kamyuka has directed all schools to start checking their students’ bags before they are allowed into the compounds, and suggested the introduction of “special bags”, branded with school name in small sizes, to be bought by students wishing to carry books since machetes cannot fit in them.

According to Mr Kamyuka, sugarcane cutting is greatly affecting the students’ performance in the national exams because a lot of time is wasted by the students shortly after registering for them.

“You find a student only coming to school for Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) registration and returns when exams are starting; so, you don’t expect such a person to pass, which explains the many failures we record when results are released,” he added.

The Luuka District LC5 chairman, Mr Simon Wakaze, said an ordinance has been passed by council to try and eliminate the findings of the education officer.

“I cannot refute the words of my technical person, but we have come up with ordinances to counter those issues you are hearing,” he said.

He added that under this arrangement, a parent and student found cutting sugarcanes during school time will be arrested, although this directive (to arrest) has been delayed by approval from the Solicitor General.


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