1,700 pupils study in shifts at Zombo school

Pupils of Zombo Upper Primary School in a classroom. The school has only 16 teachers out of the needed 23. PHOTO/PATRICK OKABA

What you need to know:

  • Pupils in Primary One to Primary have their lessons in the morning hours, while P4, P5 and P6 lessons start in the afternoon. 

Pupils at Zombo Upper Primary School in Zombo District have been forced to study in shifts due  to lack of enough classrooms following the high enrolment of learners.

Mr Alfred Kumakech, the head teacher,  told thsi publication at the weekend that they only have 12 classrooms, which cannot accommodate the more than 1,780 pupils.

“Our teacher-pupil ratio is 1:110. This means that some of the teachers also get overwhelmed,” he said.
Mr Kumakech said the desks are also inadequate, forcing pupils to sit on stones or their books, which is uncomfortable.

According to statistics, there are only 16 teachers handling the pupils out of the required 23. 
Pupils in Primary One to Primary have their lessons in the morning hours, while P4, P5 and P6 lessons start in the afternoon. 

The district education officer, Mr Nicholas Odeba, said Zombo has a 599 classroom deficit based on the enrolment of the learners in 2020.

Mr Odeba said Shs200 million that the district receives from the Ministry of Education as conditional grant is too little to construct new classrooms.

“The head teachers in various schools are in dilemma to the extent of teaching learners in shifts. The classrooms are too few to accommodate all the learners and the available ones are dilapidated and out of use,” he said.  

Mr Odeba said Zombo Upper Primary School should use the Shs20 million that they won from Life Concern, an NGO,  in a competition to build classrooms. 

The NGO in partnership with Community Empowerment for Rural Development (CEFORD) aims at promoting competitive good learning environment and academic excellence.

The director of Life Concern, Mr Emmy Kakura, said local communities should provide materials to construct temporary classroom blocks for the learners.

Mr Kakura added that schools were awarded between Shs20 million and Shs50 million in the competitive transparency in accountability award on how schools are managing Covid-19 effects.

Pupils per class

P.1-  500
 P.2-263
P.3-284
P.4-279 
P.5-250
P.6 -143
P.7- 61

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