Uganda: Parents, Pupils Excited As Schools Get New Buildings


Bubagizi Primary School in Mpumudde Sub-county, Lyantonde District, is among the six primary schools in the district that have had new structures enacted by World Bank at a tune of Shs6 billion under the Global Partnership in Education.

The school established in 2012 was initially owned by Mr Godfrey Mubagizi. However, three years later, government assumed ownership and registered it under the Universal Primary Education scheme.

The school was in a sorry state although this did not deter pupils, who endured a harsh learning environment, until last week when permanent classrooms were commissioned at the school.

“Whenever it rained, we used to run away from the school to find shelter at nearby homes. It was a terrible situation, but thank God we now have decent classrooms,” Ms Jovias Waguma, a Primary Five pupil, reminisces.

Although pupils have no desks yet, they are happy to study inside white painted walls with glass windows and cemented floors.

Initially, authorities say every structure at the school ranging from the head teacher’s office to the pit-latrines were grass-thatched with mud wall.

Other beneficiary schools are Rwamabara Muslim Primary School and Bikokola Primary School both in Mpumudde Sub-county and Lwetondo Primary School, Kiyinda Roman Catholic Church and Kibisi Rusozi Primary School in Kaliiro Sub-county.

Each of the beneficiary schools received seven classrooms, an administration block, water harvest tanks and modern pit-latrines for both teachers and pupils.

Mr Godfrey Mubagizi, the head teacher Bubagizi Primary School, says when parents learnt that new buildings had been put in place, they sent more pupils to the school this term.

“Our enrollment was around 300 pupils by the close of first term, but it has now reached 401. This is a great improvement, the children know they are coming to the new environment and in a new place,” Mr Mubagizi says.

Optimism

Some parents also expressed their excitement with the new school buildings, but requested government to construct staff houses and save teachers from walking long distances.

Mr Possiano Ssekatte, a parent at Kiyinda Roman Catholic School in Kaliiro Sub-county, says he is optimistic the new infrastructure will boost the learning environment.

“Some teachers have been shunning this school because of poor infrastructure, we are happy for the new buildings, but it will make more sense if government also constructs staff houses,” he says

Mr Medard Byarugaba, the Lyantonde District education officer, says the provision of new infrastructure is part of government’s plan to fight illiteracy by 2040.

Mr Alfred Mutebi, the secretary for education in Lyantonde District, says the World Bank project has a component of furniture, which will be supplied to the beneficiary schools before this term ends.

“World Bank with Ministry of Education have already allocated Shs334 million to supply desks in our new schools. Pupils should bear with the situation as they wait for that day,” he says

Academic performance

Since its inception in 2006, Lyantonde District has been grappling with a problem of poor infrastructure and lack of enough teachers in public schools, especially in the hard-to-reach sub- counties of Lyakajula, Mpumudde and Kaliiro.

This has had a negative impact on the academic performance of pupils.

Mr Fred Muhangi, the Lyantonde District chairperson, says the district was among the 10 poorly performing districts in national examinations between 2006 and 2009 and recruiting more teachers was among the strategies they employed to address the challenge.

Lyantonde District has a staff ceiling of 420 primary teachers and the district has in the past one year been able to recruit and maintain 400 teachers, which is 95 per cent, making it above the national ceiling target of 86 per cent.

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Publish date : 2019-06-05 07:53:50

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