By Titus Kakembo
A sum of sh372,265,667m has been ploughed in two schools in Hoima through a World Vision Uganda (WVU) education program focused at providing basic education.
There is an overall increase in enrolment in Central, Eastern, Northern and Western regions where WVU has supported schools.
“We hope Kisabagwa Primary School with the new infrastructure and furniture will get better grades,” said World Vision’s Mark Twinomugisha while officially handing over the blocks. “We also intend to improve education in Kibagambire village.”
The new classroom replaces a wooden one held in place by supporting poles. In class some children were sitting while others had lessons standing.
“The assistance given comprises classrooms blocks, furniture and latrines,” says the World Vision communication manager Agnes Kanabayita. “We also struggle to improve school sanitation through provision of water tanks, drill boreholes, construct toilets and provide furniture.”
“This help through provision of text books, reading material, capacity building for teachers management training for us teacher is ideal,” said the headmaster of the school Fred Zahura.
He also noted that it has led to development of the whole child by providing an environment to achieve functional levels of literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.
“There is need for increasing community involvement in education through Citizen Voice Action which involves working with people by empowering them to demand and provide quality education for their children,” added Zahura.
Pupils celebrating new furniture and classroom blocks in Hoima
“In Hoima we need to address the early planned marriages, late enrolment, child discrimination and violence against children in their homes,” stressed Zahura.
Kihangi Primary School in Kidoma Parish had two classroom blocks, a library and teachers quarters added to what was in place.
“This cost World Vision sh306,661,667m in construction, furnishing and stocking the library,” revealed Twinomugisha during the handover ceremony at the school. “We hope you will protect and sustain the school efficiently.”
Talking about the history of the school, the headmistress Beatrice Nyantumwa said, “We started under a tree in 1987. Three years after we were able to build two huts, it is gratifying to have come this far.”
“Our biggest problem is accommodation for the teachers and children doing without lunch,” said Nyantumwa. “Parents are reluctant to pack lunch for their children and yet they have to walk four or more kilometer every school day.”
Talking to the pupils was a revelation of their plight in achieving better grades.
“The distance between home and school is very long,” confided Jane Nyangoma. “There are days when I am asked to stay home and help my mother to dig, harvest or plant maize.”
Besides that, she is unable to revise her notes given a single candle that is used in the entire house.
Joseph Balinda in primary six has a problem of getting money to buy scholastic materials. “My parents do not see the value of education,” says Balinda. “They ask me to stay home and harvest tobacco which will earn the whole family some money.”
The pale skins common among the pupils in both schools is evidence of neglect and underfeeding.
“When it is lunch time, we eat mangoes and drink so much water,” confided Joseph Kasangaki. “At times a friend will share with you a roasted potato or boiled cassava.”
Pupils lining in front of the new classroom blocks in Hoima