TOP

Over 1,000 classrooms constructed, salaries up

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd January 2020 07:34 PM

At the end of the 2017/18 financial year using the Schools Facility Grant (SFG), the Government constructed 256 new classrooms in 45 districts.

Untitled4 703x422

At the end of the 2017/18 financial year using the Schools Facility Grant (SFG), the Government constructed 256 new classrooms in 45 districts.

The newly-constructed classroom block at Nakatookye Primary School in Ibanda district

In a bid to reduce crowding and to provide a conducive learning environment, the Government has prioritised the construction of new classrooms and renovation of old ones countrywide.

At the end of the 2017/18 financial year using the Schools Facility Grant (SFG), the Government constructed 256 new classrooms in 45 districts.

On the other hand, 92 classrooms in 16 districts were also renovated.

“We have expanded 145 primary schools that had less than three permanent classrooms by providing an additional 933 classrooms using the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) grant to the government of Uganda. Of these schools, 138 have been completed and await furniture,” said the First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports Janet Kataaha Museveni.

The scope of works included the construction of four permanent classroom blocks, headteacher's office and separate latrines for staff and pupils in 138 schools. The grant is also meant to procure books for libraries, classroom furniture with lockers for each learner, one fi ve-stance improved pit latrine block and accommodation for at least four teachers, and a water-harvesting system of 10,000 litres.

The state minister for higher education, John C. Muyingo, says: “Construction of these schools will improve the learning conditions in these areas and contribute to improving on the quality of our education.”

 Improved latrines at Nakatookye Primary School in Ibanda district

Under the Karamoja Primary Education Project (KPEP), civil works were completed in 21 primary schools. This project was completed and the schools handed over in FY2016/17.“As Karamoja, we have benefited a lot from the Government in terms of construction.

This has also helped us with enrolment even though it is still low compared to other regions,” said Joseph Lomongin, the Nakapiripirit District Inspector of Schools. However, there were still 1,135 parishes and wards without a public primary school as of March 2018.

Teachers’ accommodation

During the same period, 103 two-bedroom teachers' houses in 16 districts were also constructed.

As a way of attracting and retaining teachers in the hard-to-reach district of Bukwo, the government constructed nine semi-detached houses; each housing two teachers in nine schools using the GPE grant.

This is in addition to the construction of five semi-detached houses (each accommodating two teachers) at Shimoni Demonstration School in Wakiso district. Also, Primary Teacher’s Colleges were aided with tutors’ houses. Five semi-detached houses for tutors were constructed at Erepi, Kisoro, Ibanda, Rukungiri, and Ngora PTCs.

Learning materials

State minister for primary education Rosemary Seninde noted that the ongoing construction of classrooms means that the Government is not only focusing on infrastructure, but also the learning environment for children.“Some have very old and dilapidated structures that need to be put down.

But we are working hard to ensure we construct more classrooms although the funding is not enough,” Seninde said. Although textbooks are one of the most expensive items at the primary level and resources inadequate to purchase sufficient quantities, the Government has provided several of them to reduce the ratio.

According to statistics from the education ministry, the government provided P1 to P7 textbooks for English and mathematics to all public primary schools and as a result, the Pupil-to-Book Ratio (PBR) has improved from 14:1 to 2:1 and 3:1 in the respective subjects. Textbooks are the single most important determinant of learning and their absence can block USE reforms. The government has also supplied textbooks for P4 social studies and integrated science; as such, the pupil-to-book ratio has improved 14:1 to 5:1 in these subjects.

 President Museveni addresses leaders of teachers from 10 different regions of Uganda at the Office of the Prime Minister in May

Training

The Government has trained several members of School Management Committees (SMCs). A total of 4,790 SMCs have been trained about their roles and responsibilities in providing leadership in their respective Schools.

The levels of community participation in education are still low; e.g. school-feeding for school-going pupils. This financial year, the education ministry has been allocated sh3.286 trillion compared with the sector allocation of sh2.15 Trillion in 2016/17.

More From The Author

Related articles