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No Furniture for Primary Schools in Abim :: Uganda Radionetwork

No Furniture for Primary Schools in Abim

The issue of inadequate furniture poses a major challenge in schools where learners are forced to sit on bare floor while others on the mats, meal sacks and blocks during lessons. Gideon Omara, the head teacher of Orwamuge primary school told Uganda Radio Network that the school is in dire need of furniture to make learning easy for the pupils.
Pupils at Lorengedwat primary school lining up for food during lunch time

Audio 3

Primary schools in Abim district are facing an acute shortage of furniture leaving pupils to improvise during classes. Many sit on bare ground, on self-made papyrus mats, polyethene material and sometimes on bricks and blocks.

Gideon Omara, the head teacher of Orwamuge Primary School told Uganda Radio Network that the school has an enrollment of 1,088 pupils and only a quarter of them have access to furniture. The only available desks at the school are used by upper primary classes with five learners squeezed on each of the desks.

He explains that the situation affects the ability of learners to concentrate in class and write appropriately, and as a result, he says, some learners have dropped out of school.

//Cue in; ‘’one of the challenges…

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Indeed, Richard Olum, a pupil in Orwamuge Primary School said says the lack of furniture is affecting their sitting posture and leading to poor handwriting, a reason for which they lose marks in national examinations. He narrates that their uniforms often become messy whenever they have to use the ground as a sitting base, especially during the rainy season.

Charles Dickens Owiny, the District Education Officer observed that inadequate furniture is becoming a common problem in many primary schools. Owiny said the student population has grown bigger after the COVID-19 lockdowns because several parents whose children were studying outside the district were brought back.

Owiny said they have now written to several partners to come to their rescue with not so much success adding that the district budget is too small to facilitate the procurement of furniture.

‘’We wrote to UNICEF and they supported us with 150 desks which we decided to take to Abim primary school, but others are still in dire need of sitting facilities’’ Owiny said. He added that they have now asked the sub-county chairpersons to include the sitting facilities for the children in their budget.

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Kiru Town Council chairperson Jimmy Odong Kato confirmed the crisis and observed that there is no proper learning taking place because of the frustration pupils go through during classes. Odong added that the Town Council has placed a budget line within the estimates for the 2023/2024 financial year, to procure some furniture for the two schools within their jurisdiction.

He noted that although they can support their schools, other sub-counties are struggling because of the low revenue collections which cannot enable them to secure a budget for their schools.

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Abim district has 35 government primary schools with an enrollment of 46,000 pupils. The entire district has only 2,000 desks across the schools.