Kabarole pupils study  in dilapidated buildings

Pupils in class at Nyakitokoli Primary School in Karagura Sub-county, Kabarole District. PHOTOS /ALEX ASHABA

What you need to know:

  • No change. “I came to this school in 2015, and I was told that the buildings were condemned because they are in a sorry state, but we still use them,” James Kusemererwa, Mountains of the Moon Army PS head teacher

Some schools in Fort Portal City and Kabarole District are operating in dilapidated structures, putting the lives of pupils at risk.
Some of the government-aided schools were constructed many years ago, and have not had any major renovations.
A mini-survey conducted by Daily Monitor found that at Nyakitokoli Primary School in Karagura Sub-county, Kabarole, there are only four classes with permanent structures while others are temporary and on the verge of collapse.

Mr Alfred Mugume, the head teacher, said the dilapidated classrooms lack ventilation.
“When I was posted at this school in 2019, its enrollment stood at 90 students. I set targets to increase the pupil enrolment and by end of 2019, the students had increased to 395.However, they have not been lucky due to a number of challenges,” he said.

“The classrooms leak and during rainy seasons, our pupils remain home ,” Mr Mugume said.
He said the school has only seven teachers because of the poor learning environment.
“Staff posted here have turned down the placements since it’s a hard-to-reach area with no staff houses,” Mr Mugume said, adding that a store acts as the office.
The chairperson of the management committee of Nyakitokoli Primary School, Mr Elisa Kihuku, said the poor learning environment has contributed  to school dropouts.

During the 1981-1986 war, the school was used as a camp base for National Resistance Army  soldiers. 
At Kibyo Primary School in Karagura Sub-county, only six classes have permanent buildings.
Mr Hezron Kikendi Mbusa, a teacher, said a temporary structure put up by parents is also in a sorry state.
At Mountains of the Moon Army Primary School in Fort Portal City, teachers and learners share the same dilapidated block which was built in 1971.

Some of the old boys and old girls of Kiburara Model Primary School in Kabarole District inspect one of the dilapidated classrooms last Thursday

The deputy head teacher, Mr James Kusemererwa, said although they have written to district officials over the matter,  they have not yet intervened.
Pupils cannot observe standard operating procedures such as social distancing due to lack of enough classrooms.
At Kiburara Primary School in Hakibale Sub-county, Kabarole District, the administration wants four more classrooms to cater for pupil enrollment.

Mr William Nyakahuma, the head teacher, said the school has lasted for more than 90 years and needs new buildings.
 “We need extra four classes to cater for all pupils. If all the classes are reopened, it will be hard for us to accommodate all of them in this Covid-19 pandemic,”  he said.

The Fort Portal City education officer, Mr Patrick Alituha, said they will take over the Mountain of the Moon Army Primary School in the next financial year.
“The Kabarole Education officer, Mr Patrick Rwakikara, said they are aware of the school situation but they will not plan for Mountains of Moon Army Primary School because it is now under Fort Portal City,”  Mr Alituha said.

Ms Lillian Bagonza, an official, inspects Mountains of the Moon Army Primary School in Fort Portal City. 

He said the district has a five-year development plan although they are challenged by the inadequate financial resources.

The district development plan for 2021 to 2025 indicates that they intend to construct classrooms in 15 primary schools at Shs1.35b.
The beneficiaries include Kyatambara, Mahyoro, Nyakitokoli, Rwenkuba, Nyakitokoli and Nyarukamba  primary schools.
Others are Kibyo, Mituli and Mahyoro, Per Achte, Rutooma, Kamabaale, St Kizito, Kasenda and Kaboyo primary schools.