Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Nobert Mao, has expressed concerns about the state of education and infrastructure in northern Uganda. Mao mentioned that the quality of education is inadequate, and the region lacks proper infrastructure, including roads.
His remarks were part of a video message presented by Prof Okaka Opio Dokotum, the deputy vice chancellor of Lira University’s academic affairs, during a conference organized by the university. The conference, titled “Remembering the Abia Massacre and Focusing on Its Impact on Informal Education, Memory, Peace, and Recovery,” concluded recently.
In 2004, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), reportedly led by Okot Odiambo, attacked the Abia internally displaced camp in Alebtong district, resulting in the tragic loss of 139 lives and leaving others with life-threatening injuries. In response, the government established a monument and the Abia Technical Institute to honor the victims and provide education and skills training for orphans affected by the incident.
Mao emphasized that although the region is no longer plagued by armed conflict, there remain significant challenges in terms of education and infrastructure.
The 2022 Primary Leaving Examinations revealed poor performance in several districts within the Lango and Acholi regions. For instance, Kole, Dokolo, Amolatar, Omoro, and Alebtong districts saw a low number of candidates achieving Division One results. Other districts, including Oyam, Otuke, Pader, Agago, Nwoya, Lamwo, and Kitgum, also faced similar challenges.
Mao also reminisced about his tenure as the chairperson of Gulu district, where he initiated efforts to transition from the humanitarian phase to reconstruction, indicating a commitment to addressing the region’s challenges.