With science subjects government’s focus in recent years, learners are expected to drive their attention towards it. Science teachers too, are promised high pay.
However, with revised pay to these teachers minus facilities to support both learners and them, government’s directive shall benefit few – creating minimal impact.
In nothern Uganda’s district of Dokolo, Dokolo Girls secondary school found in Dokolo County North is one of the secondary schools suffering from lack of relevant science facilities to better the knowledge of students.
Even with earlier Presidential pledge to see a fully fledged science laboratory constructed in Dokolo Girls, the plan has been altered, with leaders getting concerned.
TND News has got copies of letters written in ‘demand’ by school’s headteacher, Sr. Adilo Judith and Honourable Paul Amoru Omiat – the area MP respectively to Ministry of Education and Sport’s commissioners.
In her letter dated 26, March, 2019 to Assistant Commissoner in charge Planning in the Ministry of Education and Sports, Sr. Adilo Judith gave the school priority.
“Dokolo Girls is in her fourth years of existence but it’s not yet having the basic school facilities like laboratory, dormitory, library, administration block, etc are all missing. Our first priority as listed in the above sequence is the laboratory for reasons below,” her letter partly reads.
“A science laboratory is one of the major requirements needed to register any new school with UNEB.”
“Our pioneer candidates are due to sit UNEB exams this year and we have no UNEB centre number.”
As a result, she says her school can’t completely participate in the national selection of senior ones because “we don’t have UNEB centre number”.
“Therefore, pioneer candidates will have to sit UNEB from another centre number which will be unfamiliar and very expensive to run UNEB exams,” the headteacher further says in her letter.
Early this year, President Museveni at a thanksgiving prayer for Dokolo North MP, Paul Amoru Omiat, pledged to build a modern science laboratory for Dokolo Girls school.
Similarly, in his letter dated 27, February, 2019, MP Paul Amoru Omiat in his letter titled: “Diversion of Funds to Non-priority Construction Projects at Dokolo Girls School“, his letter followed one dated 14, January 2019 and signed by Ms. Doreen Matovu Lwanga to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Dokolo district – issuing new guidelines for the construction of facilities at Dokolo Girls secondary school.
Ms. Matovu, on behalf of Permanent Secretary, directed CAO to commit a total of shillings 200m towards the construction of a girls dormitory, 8 showers and a stance line VIP latrine.
According to MP Amoru, the above facilities were not part of the original intention of Presidential pledge which was meant for the construction of a science laboratory.
“I am therefore writing to express deep concerns over this new development which now abandons the original Presidential pledge, for the most critical and much needed science laboratory in favour of the above named facilities,” MP Amoru said, in his letter.
He added: “It’s on the premise that I seek your intervention and further reiterate that in the heirachy of needs for the school, a science laboratory is top and will help the school to acquire an examination centre number with UNEB and also promote science subjects and learning, that’s now being emphasized by the President and indeed the Ministry of Education and Sports.”
Dokolo district speaks
Responding to a similar article published by this contemporary online newspaper few days ago, Manshur Suwed, who’s the Dokolo’s information officer had these to say:
“The money released by government was not enough to construct a fully fledged science laboratory, so the user department, that’s, Dokolo Girls SS and Dokolo district wrote to the Ministry requesting them to use the money for constructing a dormitory since the girls are sleeping in a classroom.”
“The Ministry saw sense and granted permission actually on the day of site handover to the construction, Ministry of education was represented by one engineer in charge of Lango. RDC was the chief guest,” Manshur added.