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Luweero Authorities Ignore Occupational Safety Measures in Schools

Some of the schools include Kikuube Parents, Happy Hours Junior, New Ark Primary, Alpha and Omega Nursery and Primary, Creamland Nursery and Primary, God’s Love Junior, Nasser Foundation, Outspan Nursery and Primary,Jack and Jill Nursery, Mirembe Junior school among others.
Classrooms of Kikuube Primary School

Audio 2

As classroom blocks continue to collapse and injure pupils, authorities in Luweero have ignored occupational safety and health measures in schools putting learners’ lives at risk. Schools under makeshift and condemned buildings continue to crop up in the district creating fear over safety of learners.

 

In 2010 the Ministry of Sports and Education issued the basic requirement and minimum standards indicators for education institutions.

 

The basic requirements are clear that no school should operate without permanent structures to withstand all weather conditions. The school should have enough classes for every group taught, clear ventilation, sanitation and conducive environment among others.

 

Other acts that include Occupational Safety and Health Act 2006, National Environment Act 2000, Public Health Act 1964 among others are in place to ensure learners study under appropriate conditions.

 

However individuals continue to open and run schools without meeting the above guidelines.

 

Some of the schools include Kikuube Parents, Happy Hours Junior, New Ark Primary, Alpha and Omega Nursery and Primary, Creamland Nursery and Primary, God’s Love Junior, Nasser Foundation, Outspan Nursery and Primary,Jack and Jill Nursery, Mirembe Junior school among others.

 

The Director of Kikuube Parents School Rose Kamya says rainy season is their greatest challenge because they operate in a makeshift structure. When it rains, teaching comes to an end to ensure safety of pupils.

 

Kamya frankly confesses she can’t meet the guidelines because of lack of funds but  hopes to improve with time. Kamya has been running the school for last three years and is yet to register it with district education department.

 

Joshua Kakooza, the head teacher of New Ark Primary School, says they have plans to improve study conditions for their learners but they are constrained by lack of land and funds.

 

//Cue in: “The problem is…..

  Cue out:….your school.’’//

 

Godfrey Kaddu, a resident in Luweero town, says that they send children in such private schools because they have also lost hope in Universal primary schools due to their poor performance. He complains that school inspectors who should monitor standards take bribes to leave such schools open.

 

 Kaddu says he is worried that with frequent tremors in Uganda today some of the buildings may collapse and kill pupils alongside teachers.

 

The district councilor for Luweero sub county Richard Bwabye says that there is a need for quick intervention to close the school because they are recipe for danger .He also blamed inspector of schools for failing to close these schools and ignorance of parents.

 

// Cue in:``the risks are…

   Cue out…in private schools.’’//

 

Edward Ssembajjwe, the chairperson of Uganda National Teachers Union, says the Ministry of Education cannot implement its own guidelines because it has failed to provide minimum requirements in government schools.He called upon strengthening of inspectorate department in ministry of Education and zero corruption in supervision.

 

Luweero District Education Officer Florence Bbosa declined to immediately comment on matter.  District engineer Ivan Sserwambala admitted that enforcement was still lacking which have lead to schools grace up the district.

 

In 2010 and 2012 at least 67 pupils of Hidaya Islamic Primary School,Luuka and Bubiiro primary school in Buikwe were critically injured when school blocks collapsed on them. Also pupils have died in isolate cases as result of collapsing classrooms.