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Government should prioritise schools

Primary Three pupils in Sokoso Primary School in Galilaaya Sub-county, Kayunga District in their classroom made of dry banana leaves on June 7, 2024.  PHOTO/FRED MUZAALE  

What you need to know:

The issue: Government schools

Our view: Government must build enough classroom blocks in schools and procure desks to ensure a conducive learning environment.

Government schools countrywide, both primary and secondary, are in a deplorable state.” This was highlighted by a story published in the Daily Monitor on Tuesday, June 11, titled Classroom made of dry banana leaves shocks leaders. At Sokoso Primary school, the learning institution in question, some pupils are compelled to study in a makeshift classroom made of dry banana leaves because of a shortage of buildings to accommodate them.  When leaders visited the school in Galilaaya Sub-county, Bbaale County in Kayunga District, they were shocked by the unconducive learning environment. The makeshift classroom has walls made of banana leaves and the shade of a tree, under which it is located, serves as its roof. There are no desks, so pupils have to make do with stones or the bare ground. This sad state of affairs is what learners and teachers in several other schools across the country are subjected to.

In several schools, lessons are conducted under tree shades because there are shortages of classroom blocks. This open air teaching arrangement causes a distraction to learners, hence they cannot concentrate and this negatively affects their academic performance.  Furthermore, these lessons under tree shades are constantly disrupted during the rainy season, a hindrance to the learning process.

In some schools where classroom blocks are available, some of them are unfortunately not fit for human habitation, endangering the lives of teachers and learners. Many schools do not have laboratories and libraries, and even those that do, these essential learning facilities do not have the required equipment and books.

The government has a stated goal of promoting sciences to spur industrial development, economic growth and self-sustenance.

However, unless laboratories, key pillars of teaching science subjects, are established and properly equipped in all government primary and secondary schools, this pro-sciences campaign will be a pipe dream.

Many schools also have shortages of teachers to impart knowledge to learners. The authorities should ensure that all schools have the required number of teachers for both science and arts subjects. Libraries should be well-stocked with textbooks for both arts and science subjects and teachers should be given all the equipment they require to do their noble duties.

 Government must build enough classroom blocks in schools and procure desks to ensure a conducive learning environment.

 Some schools also face a shortage of pit-latrines, with girls and boys forced to share the few available ones. In some cases, even teachers share latrines with learners.  This sanitation problem should be urgently resolved to protect learners, teachers and the surrounding community against diseases such as cholera.

Furthermore, a shortage of accommodation for teachers has forced many to rent houses in places far from the schools where they are employed. This has led to late arrival of teachers at school, impeding the learning process. To resolve this, the government should build more staff quarters near schools.

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