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Schools Petition Education Authorities to Consider Vertical Structural Development

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David Nkojjo, the Chairperson St Jude- Bbanda School Management Committee observes that due to development priorities competing for land in Wakiso district, many schools have lost their land to grabbers while others find a hard time when the foundation bodies reclaim part of the land leaving them with tiny potions.
Structures at St Jude- Bbanda School are in sorry state but the school also lacks land where new classroom blocks can be constructed

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Primary Schools in Wakiso District have petitioned education authorities to consider vertical infrastructural development so as to optimally utilize the limited space available.

There are 256 government-aided primary schools and 25 community schools in Wakiso. However, most of them are in sorry state and lack adequate classroom space. Although the district has received more money for infrastructure development from Shillings 794 million to Shillings 1.12 billion, construction of new structures is limited by lack of space for expansion.  

David Nkojjo, the Chairperson St Jude- Bbanda School Management Committee observes that due to development priorities competing for land in Wakiso district, many schools have lost their land to grabbers while others find a hard time when the foundation bodies reclaim part of the land leaving them with tiny potions.

He says that with Ministry of Education making it a prerequisite for all schools to have certificate of titles, schools have been able to secure some pieces of land but much of it is no longer adequate for horizontal development. Nkojjo says government can take some lessons from the private sector, which has successfully solved the urban land puzzle with vertical development.

 

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Clare Kayinza, the head teacher St Francis Kabagezi in Kakiri Sub County, says the available land is currently being consumed by infrastructure leaving schools without space for recreation. 

“Literally schools should have enough piece of land to accommodate among other things playing fields. With limited land, we can no longer have reserved land for such. We think vertical development can solve the problem in urban areas,” she said.

Tom Muwonge, Wakiso District Education Committee Chairperson observes during their recent inspection, which was intended to establish schools in in dire need of infrastructure development, they found many schools whose structures are in bad shape.  

“It is indeed a big challenge which policymakers need to think of. In urban areas, there is no land for horizontal development. Some schools we visited take Nkumba Koran primary school, had no space for the construction of mere pit latrine,” says Muwonge.

 

Dr. Tony Mukasa Lusambu, the Commissioner of Basic Education notes that they have realized that land for infrastructure development is critical in the teaching-learning process for both the classrooms set up and co circular facilities. He argues that without a doubt, vertical development is the way forward.  

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However, the Wakiso District Education Officer, Fredrick Kiyingi says although they would like to have vertical development, the district has a challenge of limited resources because of many pressing needs.     “Most of our schools are I badly off. Vertical development is good but then it means all the available resources will be directed towards two or three schools, which is unfair to others. Maybe the ministry should consider giving us more construction projects to address the matter,” said Kiyingi.

Wakiso District LC V Chairperson, Matia Lwanga Bwanika says school management committees should come up with development plans for their respective schools so as to guide the utilization of available pieces of land. Bwanika notes that many schools have poorly managed land with structures scattered all over.    

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As the new term nears, Wakiso District Education department is set to put up structures including classroom blocks, staff quarters and pit latrines at 18 schools distributed across several sub-counties and town councils. The said structures are expected to be completed in five months while pit latrines will be ready in one month.