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Pupils in Napak District Demand Classrooms :: Uganda Radionetwork

Pupils in Napak District Demand Classrooms

The community school that was established in 2013 has an enrollment of 302 pupils and has only one temporal classroom constructed with only poles and iron sheets.
Pupils learning under the trees in Komuturunyo primary school

Audio 3

Pupils of Komuturunyo Primary School in Poron sub-county, Napak district have asked the government to construct classrooms.

The community school that was established in 2013 has an enrollment of 302 pupils and has only one temporal classroom constructed with only poles and iron sheets. The school has classes from primary one to six while those promoted to primary seven have to walk for over 15 kilometers to Longaro Primary School in Apeitolim Sub County.

According to the pupils, the school environment is not conducive to learning because they are studying under the trees and this has affected them. They also expressed the lack of furniture, toilets, and other scholastic materials to ease their learning process.

Anna Mary Atama, the Head girl observed that studying under the trees has frustrated their learning as sometimes they miss lessons during the rainy season.

Atama said they sometimes find it hard to study under trees especially during the dry season because of dust and wind.  She noted that as a result of studying in an unconducive environment, learners sometimes develop eye and ear problems due to the winds.

Atama appealed to the government to assist them with classroom blocks to create a friendly learning environment that can attract more learners and excel in academic performance.

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Tadious Loduk, the Head teacher of Komuturunyo Primary School acknowledged the classroom crisis stating that several requests have been submitted to the district authorities but no response yet.

Loduk noted that parents have improvised a temporal shade that is partitioned into three classrooms and the office but the structure is not helping much. He added that the parents had also constructed grass-thatched classrooms but all are dilapidated state since there are no resources for maintaining it.

Loduk said that sometimes they are forced to end the lessons prematurely when it threatens to rain because pupils have no shelter for taking a refugee.

‘’The pupils have been learning under trees for the last 10 years amidst challenges of bad weather conditions such as rains and wind’’ Loduk explained.

Faith Nakut, the Woman Member of Parliament for Napak district acknowledged that there is a huge shortage of education services in the district citing some Parishes that do not have any single school.

Nakut noted that it is their desire for all the children to stay at school but their efforts are frustrated by lack of educational facilities. She added that the children who are interested in learning have to walk for over 15 kilometers to access a nearby school.

Nakut revealed that they have asked President Museveni to consider supporting the education system in the Karamoja sub-region.

She observed that the region can only transform effectively and sustainably if all the children are taken to school to study at government costs.

Nakut urged well-wishers to intervene in and consider constructing classroom blocks in already established community schools as they wait for government support.

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John Paul Kodet, the LCV Chairperson of Napak district said that the council has set strategies that they intend to use to address some of the education-related challenges.

Kodet said that the council has already forwarded some of the community schools to the education ministry to be approved and coded.

He added that they have been encouraging parishes without schools to consider starting a temporal structure that will be used for schools as they pursue the government to rescue the situation.

Kodet reiterated that the community can volunteer by setting up some grass-thatched structures that can act as classrooms to address the challenge of pupils walking long distances to access school.

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The Ministry of Education policy framework states that the government is supposed to establish a secondary school at every sub-county and a primary school at every parish.

However, a report by Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda that was released in 2023 revealed that 20 Parishes in Napak district do not have government-aided primary schools except only 10 community schools which are coded.