By Faustine Odeke
A TOTAL of 26 parents and children of school-going age were on Monday arrested at Malaba in Tororo district for missing school.
Others were found in trading centres drinking alcohol during working hours. The officer in-charge of Malaba Police post, Edward Kyaligonza, said the operation was carried out to improve school attendance.
He said most of the children were found doing casual work, adding that others had not gone to school because they had spent the night looking for white ants.
Most parents deliberately refuse to take their children, especially the girls, to school, he said. Kyaligonza added that the girls were instead told to do domestic work, while their parents were in the shambas.
He said the operation was carried out in Kadomoche, Mella A and Mella B villages. Kyaligonza said several local leaders and teachers from schools in the area had complained about the low turn-up of pupils in school.
He said the drunkards would be taken to court as soon as the state attorney sanctioned their files. Kyaligonza later released all the children and some of the parents, saying they were first-time offenders.
He said the arrests would serve as an example to others who, he said, were sabotaging the Universal Primary Education programme.
Kyaligonza said the district also planned to arrest those who do not provide scholastic materials to their children.