The truths about crumbling Aparango primary school in Kole district


One of the staff houses for the school. Courtesy photo.

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Kole – Education system in Uganda remains worrying even with huge investments government has put in place. It’s more worrying because many government schools keep struggling in terms of performances – with teachers, sometimes protesting over pay rise.

With emergence of unlimited private schools countrywide, private investors who have put huge capitals in the sector are paying their teachers ‘well’ and pupils or students’ enrolments keep increasing each term, except for odd reasons.

Whereas there are many government schools in Lango sub-region struggling amidst huge financial allocation to the sector each financial year, today TND News focuses on Aparango primary school in Kole district.

Located in Bar Akalo parish, Akalo sub-county, Kole South in Kole district – Aparango primary school has an enrolment of 968 pupils. It has 14 [fourteen] classroom teachers.

Recently, reports imposed the government school to be lacking toilets for both teachers and pupils. It was also revealed to this contemporary online newspaper that pupils and teachers, for the crisis, were sharing one toilet.

In 2018 – both Kole District Local Government and Food for the Hungry handed over five modern toilet structures each to the school. Five were for pupils and five for teachers and their families. Also, and currently, there are five stances of old toilets, also being used.

Even with such provision in place, it’s not enough to meet the nature’s demand as the overwhelming number of learners always flock the facility simultaneously to ease themselves.

This has forced some teen learners to risk by visiting the old, dilapidated toilets for use.

Besides toilets’ crisis, staff houses is one big dilemma. The existing grass thatched houses have been invaded by termites and its roofs leak on teachers and their families.

Speaking on phone to TND News on Saturday, the head teacher of Apaarango primary school Mr Odongo Jimmy Bosco, said there are two categories of teachers he manages.

“All teachers have houses. Two categories; one category comes from staff quarters and three teachers whose [own] homes are surrounding school. We don’t rent staff houses. We are trying to improve structures,” Mr Odongo added.

On examinations performance – especially in the 2019 Primary Leaving Examinations – whose results were released a fortnight ago, the head teacher announces:

“No first graders. We had eight [8] in second grade, ten [10] in third grade, eight [8] in fourth grade and six [6] in U grade. 32 pupils sat the final examinations.”

While recent PLE results seem ‘okay’ – the under pressure head teacher bashed parents in Lango sub-region for not taking their responsibility in developing schools in the sub-region, adding that parents should also take their children to schools.

“Teachers should be accommodated in schools; parents should own the school fully and have a voice than thinking the school will grow with miracles,” he says.

He also claims that before he took over the management of the school, two years ago, staff accommodation was a big challenge, something he now says he has ‘tried to rectify’.

Aparango primary school teachers’ behaviours on Fridays

TND News has exclusive information that every Fridays – from 2pm – majority of teachers boycott afternoon classes [lessons], leaving pupils playing in classrooms and under trees.

In our investigations, many teachers leave their offices for Lira and Apac towns respectively for weekend life.

Responding to this grave issue that is affecting learners’ mind and robbing government and parents of resources, the head teacher confirmed his teachers’ manners.

“Most teachers leave school on Friday from 2pm and they return on Monday. This is affecting learning. Teachers being accommodated in school should remain here over the weekend so that they can prepare for Monday,” he told us.

“Even now [on Saturday] we are speaking, I’m the only teacher staying, the rest have moved to towns,” he revealed, last week.

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