Mityana Municipality Considers Revamping PTAs

Annet Namugenyi, a parent says there are ready to contribute as parents to support the schools provided there is proper accountability.

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Mityana Municipal authorities are considering revamping and empowering Parents Teachers Associations-PTAs in bid to support public schools, which are limping. A number of public schools in the municipality operate in dilapidated structures, lack basic sanitary facilities and also congested.

Aidah Nagadya, the head teacher Mityana Public School, says her school just like many others lacks adequate classrooms, which affects the teaching process.

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According to Nagadya, in addition to the limited classrooms, they also have fewer desks forcing eight pupils to share a single desk. James Muwanga Kironde, the Inspector of Schools Mityana Municipality, says many schools are also grappling with staffing gaps and shortage of head teachers, which is affecting their operations.

He says most of the head teachers are in acting capacity. Kironde notes that many teachers also leave far from the schools due to the absence of staff quarters for them and up spending a lot of time moving to their work stations. He says the absence of staff quarters partly contributes to the high levels of absenteeism and poor performance of learners.

Lawrence Kamya, the Mityana Municipal Education Officer, says they operate on a very lean budget to be able to address most of the challenges affecting the sector.  He says they have been receiving money to construct only two classroom blocks over the past three financial years yet most of the structures are dilapidated.

Juliet Nakawuka, the Mityana Deputy Town Clerk, says they have decided to revamp PTAs and they are optimistic that a lot can be achieved once they mobilise parents and the communities to support the schools.

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She says they will also encourage parents to provide desks and facilitate the recruitment of private teachers to fill the staffing gaps for the good of the pupils. Nagadya says unless parents change their mindset of parents who thinks government must provide everything in public schools they are doomed.

Annet Namugenyi, a parent says there are ready to contribute as parents to support the schools provided there is proper accountability. Esther Ndyanabo, the Mayor Mityana Municipal says the council has laid systems and policies through, which the PTA initiative can be improved in all schools.  

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Ndyanabo says as political leaders are going to mobilize parents to play their roles not only by contributing to infrastructure development but also providing scholastic materials and mid-day meals for learners.

PTA's came into existence when Government aided schools made individual appeals to the Ministry of Education to allow parents to get involved in re-vitalizing schools and take charge of the welfare of teachers after it became apparent that government doesn't have the capacity to fully motivate teachers.

Education experts argue that once empowered fully, School Management Committees and PTA's can make a huge difference in the education sector.