News, Sports

Why participants in regional games won’t return home

Teams clash during the East African Secondary School games in Gulu, Uganda - Aug 2017 | Photo | Unknown

About 130 students who participated in the regional secondary school games in Gulu last week say they will not return home unless they are paid their incentives.

The children, who are now at the border town of Nimule, say they were promised $200 each by the Ministry of Education.

But then, they say they haven’t received anything from the ministry; and if they returned, they would not get the money at all.

“Before we traveled to Gulu, the ministry promised us that every participant would get $200 and every team would be given $100 dollars per day,” a Ms Paula told Eye Radio via phone on Monday.

“All these promises have not been fulfilled. So we cannot go back without the money.”

The boys and girls, who are sheltering at a church in Nimule, base their mistrust on the conditions they faced during the week-long regional tournament.

“The 100 USD per day was supposed to cover feeding for seven days. But then, we ended up eating very bad food, “said another student, adding that “We developed stomach problems because it was only beans and asida.”

“At first, they said ‘let’s go to Nimule where we are going to give you your money’,” Jok stressed. “Up to now, no official came to us to tell us what’s happening.”

‘Sticking point’

When contacted by Eye Radio, the undersecretary at the ministry of Education, Michael Lopuke, said they are looking into the matter.

“The issue of US dollar remains a sticking point to us…but we we are working hard to avail the amount,” Mr Lopuke said. “So it’s a matter of time and we will be able to address that issue.”

A series of games ranging from outdoor sports as Athletics, football, rugby, basketball, netball, handball, hockey, volleyball to the indoor one like chess, badminton and swimming were held between 22-27 August.

South Sudan was represented by several teams, including basketball, volleyball, and football.

Followed by Uganda and Rwanda, Kenya emerged winners of the 2017 East Africa Secondary School ball games that went concluded in Gulu over the weekend.

Burundi emerged 4th, South Sudan 5th and Tanzania came last.

  1. Kenya 11 Gold, 7 Silver, 10 Bronze.
  2. Uganda 10 Gold, 12 Silver, 7 Bronze
  3. Rwanda 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze.
  4. South Sudan 0 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze

(Note: Identities of the students have been withheld)