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50 schools fail to reopen in Busia over debts

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Schools reopened early this month for all learners to resume studies after a two years closure.

Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 50 private schools in Busia district have failed to re-open over accumulated rental arrears.

Some of the affected are Bridge nursery and primary school, Meehan primary school, Joy Nursery and primary school, Talents nursery and primary school, and Hashim Education Centre among others. Prior to the lockdown in March 2020, Busia district comprised 212 schools both private secondary and primary schools.

Aggrey Mangeni, the Busia Municipal Education Officer says that they have noticed that several schools that were operating in rental premises have vanished due to accumulated rental arrears.

Hillary Oundo, the chairperson of Private School Proprietors in Busia district says that most of the schools were operating in rental premises and it became a challenge that their landlords continued counting months even when the schools were closed. According to Oundo, other landlords opted to impound school furniture and sell it to recover their rent.

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Kennedy Menya, the Busia District Inspector of Schools says that his department has confirmed the closure of over 50 schools, adding that they are still conducting a survey. Steven Wafula, Grace Anyango, and Emmanuel Wanaha say that they opted to take their children to schools in neighbouring Kenya for studies because of the failure of their old schools to reopen.

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