Over 1,600 pupils depend on 8 dilapidated classrooms in Serere district
By Jonah Osike
Serere – 4, November 2021: Authorities of Opunoi primary school in Labor parish, Labor subcounty in Serere district have decried dilapidated classrooms.
Their cry comes with only two month left until reopening of schools in January next year following the President’s statement during his recent address to the nation on Covid-19 status in the country.
However, Opunoi primary school has minimal hope of this coming to pass due to the current challenges that the school is faced with.
Festo Kizire is the deputy head teacher of the school. He says they currently have only 8 classrooms against the overwhelming enrollment of over 1,600 pupils.
Kizire adds that of the 8 available classrooms, only 2 are better with the rest in a sorry state.
“My worry is that we may not be able to accommodate all the learners come January next year due to the shortage of classrooms. We are currently thinking of using tree shades if the rains will not interrupt us,” he said.
Kizire further affirms that the school has got only 201 desks, something he says is too challenging to the learners hence affecting their academic progress.
“We also have only 2 pit latrines with 4 stances each which are currently full, he told TND News”.
The problems seem not to be ending, with Opunoi also facing a serious challenge of teacher’s accommodation.
Out of the 13 teachers, only 7 are accommodated with only two in permanent houses. The rest of the teachers reside in distant places and ride for more than 4 kilometers to reach school.
Ben Atodu is the chairman PTA of the school. He says they have tried to lobby for support from the district but no positive response has yet been delivered.
“We have on several occasions requested for support from the district but up to date, no positive response has yet been delivered,” said Adotu.
Fred Opolot who is the Member of Parliament for Pingire County, acknowledges the challenge of classrooms in the entire constituency and promises to table the matter on the floor of Parliament.
“In my manifesto, raising the standards of education was part of my plans, so I therefore don’t take the challenges faced by schools in my constituency lightly. Intend to raise this matter in Parliament,” said Opolot.
Opolot further states that, “Three weeks ago, I had an engagement with the commissioner of higher education in regards to matters about education in Pingire county and he is willing to cooperate to change the current worrying here.”
It should be noted that higher institutions of learning resumed studies on 1, November 2021 with primary and secondary schools to re-open next year after 4.8 million people in priority and vulnerable groups are fully vaccinated.
That includes teachers and 330,000 students aged 18 years and above.