Gulu Municipality Authorities Ban Swimming Classes in Schools

Credo Kindergarten and Day Care, a nursery and primary school in Gulu (Facebook photo)

Gulu education department has banned indefinitely swimming classes for pupils in nursery and primary schools in the municipality.

The ban follows a recent incident in which a nine-year-old boy of South Sudanese origin drowned in a swimming pool.

Bol Garang Diar a primary one pupil of Credo Daycare Nursery and Primary School in Laroo Division was found dead at Bomah Hotel swimming pool on February 19.

The deceased was part of 82 pupils who had been taken at the hotel for their routine swimming class at the children’s section of swimming pool.

Richard Irwenyo, the Principal Gulu Municipal Education Officer told Acholi Times that the ban took effect on Tuesday last week is to ensure safety and security of children at schools.

“We really see that children are at great risk of accident while at school. Swimming is not in the school curriculum, if a school treats it as an extra-curricular activity, they have to follow strict guidelines that don’t put lives of pupils at risk,” Mr Irwenyo told  Acholi Times.

Mr Irwenyo said all schools in the municipality have been given notice not to conduct any swimming class for pupils until they[ the district] gets clear guidelines from the Ministry of Education and Sports.

He said the ban also applies to secondary schools especially at St Joseph’s College Layibi which has its own swimming pool.

“When we get clear guidelines from the Education and Sports Ministry, we shall sit down with all the school heads in Gulu Municipality and discuss the safety measures they have to undertake to have swimming classes,” he said.

Ban is a good move

Mr Alphaseus Esabo, the Head teacher El-shadai Primary School welcomed the ban saying schools ought to put strict guidelines on safety and security.

Ms Suzan Ukech who has three children at Credo Day Care Nursery and Primary School said the ban is a good move.

“The incident that happened was so unfortunate. It has given us an idea about what happens to our children when they are taken out for swimming. It means they are not given attention. I welcome the ban.’’