Collapsing buildings scare college students

Wednesday January 3 2018

Mr Paskari Ntalo, the Kabwangasi Teache

Mr Paskari Ntalo, the Kabwangasi Teachers’ College PTA chairman, inspects one of the blocks at the college recently. PHOTO BY MUDANGHA KOLYANGHA 

By MUDANGHA KOLYANGHA

BUTEBO- Kabwangasi college being one of the popular and oldest primary teachers’ colleges in eastern Uganda, it is in a dilapidated state.

Established by the colonial government in 1934 to train grade three teachers, the school is now a shadow of its past, with most of its buildings dilapidated. This has put the lives of students and teachers at risk.

Inside, cracks are visible on the classroom walls. Classroom roofs are not any better as they leak during the wet season and the floors have cracked.

Currently, the college offers Grade three certificates and diplomas. The college has a staggering population of about 370 students.

The college principal, Mr Benan Stephen Kamusongwe, said the school needs urgent intervention to regain its glory.

“The state under which the school is operating is risky and dangerous to both the learners and staff. Most of the structures are dilapidated and we fear that buildings may collapse anytime,” he said.

Mr Kamusongwe added that as college administrators, they have written to the Ministry of Education about the matter in vain.

He said inadequate funding by government has also made it difficult to run the school activities including paying electricity and water bills.

The former college principal, Mr Charles Ideke Opolot, said out of the 29 buildings, 27 were condemned by the engineers in 2012.

“The engineers said the buildings pose danger to the lives of the students and staff,” he said.
Mr Opolot said eight dormitories, two classroom blocks, one administration block, a staff room block and 15 staff quarters, were condemned.

Condemned
“The engineers from the Ministry of Education ordered for the demolition of the blocks. Some of the rooftops of these structures are of asbestos, which have also been condemned to be dangerous to human health,” he said.

Leaders in Butebo District, which was caved out of Pallisa, have on several occasions called on government to intervene and rescue the institution but in vain.

The district education officer, Mr Chalaire Omagor, said it is disturbing that most of the classrooms, tutors’ quarters and dormitories have become inhabitable.

He added that it is improper to continue teaching students in such an environment.
“This is quite unfortunate and regrettable that government has taken such a long time to give the college a major face-lift the way it has done for other teaching institutions,” he said.
Mr Omagor also blamed the school’s former students for abandoning their institution.

“Hundreds of students have graduated from this college but it is unfortunate that no-one thinks about the future of the institution especially when it is facing such challenges,” he said.
The chairperson of Parents Teachers Association, Mr Paskari Ntalo, said the institution needs an overhaul.

“All windows and doors have broken down and when it rains, lessons are cancelled. The tutors also spend sleepless nights because their houses leak,” he said.
The Butebo District chief administrative officer, Ms Joanita Nakityo, acknowledged the state of the college but pledged to continue lobbying for funds.

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