‘Whereas this school is surrounded by farmers who always pray for rainfall, we as a school, are always praying that it does not rain or at least it rains at night so that our children can learn’
PIC: Pupils of St Andrews Nyairongo Primary School in Kikube District celebrating during the commissioning of the construction of new classroom blocks on August 8, 2018.(Credit: Geoffrey Mutegeki)
It is 10:37am in Nyakirongo village in Kabwoya sub-county, Kikube district. Pupils of St Andrews Primary School are lining along the road to welcome visitors to their school. The sun is shining hot, but the jovial pupils are singing loudly as they wait for more visitors to come.
It is a day to celebrate a new era. The school is receiving new classrooms that will save the pupils from studying under the trees and sharing classes.
St Andrews has a population of 646 pupils, but has only two classrooms that were constructed by the Government in 2015.
“They always study from under the tree while some classes share the same room. They study while facing in different directions,” says Hamidu, the headteacher of St Andrews.
The school started in 2002 and has been struggling to accommodate the ever increasing number of pupils.
Some classes, due to lack of enough classrooms, study from under trees and whenever it rains, there is no learning.
“Whereas this school is surrounded by farmers who always pray for rainfall, we as a school, are always praying that it does not rain or at least it rains at night so that our children can learn,”
Apart from few classrooms, the school also lacks enough latrines.
“Teachers and pupils use the same latrines. They are only three and sometimes pupils line up for them,” Hamidu says.
The situation is no different at Kibale Parents Primary School where pupils are also sharing classrooms for lack of enough buildings.
“Primary six and Seven always use the same classroom while other learners study from under trees or in wooden makeshifts constructed by parents”
The schools also lack water and pupils have to walk long distances to access it.
“We walk for about two kilometres to the swamp where we fetch water. It is very far and tiring,” reveals Hanifer Ainembabazi.
We started from a tree, but now have these two classrooms which are shared by all the classes. Some pupils study from under a tree and whenever it rains, there is no learning.
But with the construction of six more classrooms, the school is slated to have at least enough classrooms to accommodate the currently overwhelming numbers.
Through parents’ efforts, the school had constructed two wooden classrooms. The teachers and pupils share the only three latrines.
The school lacks water and pupils have to walk about a kilometre to get water from a swamp.
PIC: The two only classrooms at St. Andrews Nyairongo Primary School in Kikube district