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Schools shun Pakwach district sports competitions

FILE Authorities said some schools lack playing facilities

FILE Authorities said some schools lack playing facilities

Authorities have expressed concern that schools in Pakwach have declined to participate in the district sports competitions. 

The district sports officer Ciriako Opoti observes that the failure by the majority of the private schools and some public schools to participate in the competitions has robbed the district of valuable budding sports talent.

He is concerned that most of the schools in the area are operating without playgrounds, due to limited space for extracurricular activities. He adds that although some schools were using community playgrounds, they were often unreliable.

"Some schools don't have playgrounds...and yet playgrounds are the factories where we manufacture our players and therefore it becomes a challenge in identifying participants when the fields are not there. These schools use community playgrounds and when the community are really so much engaged, they may not give them room to practice in their fields," said Opoti.

This development comes at a time when primary schools in the district are preparing for the students' ball games which are scheduled for next month. Emmanuel Olama, headteacher of Pangieth primary school explains that schools do not have sports attire for the learners to participate in games, and this eventually discourages them from participating in competitions.

Co-curricular activities like sports and athletics are mandatory for all primary schools in Uganda as stipulated in the primary school syllabus under creative arts and physical education (CAPE) in the ministry of Education and Sports which are supposed to be implemented alongside academics.

Ministry of Education basic requirements and minimum standards indicators for education institutions mandate schools to allocate time to include both academic and co-curricular activities. However, most schools now emphasize academic achievements and put less emphasis on talent identification in schools through sports activities.

There are about 110 primary schools in Pakwach district according to information from the official website. Of these 63 are owned by the government and 47 are privately owned or owned by the community.

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