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New set of learners threaten to overwhelm Govt schools

Ayile students and teachers got protective gear to prevent COVID-19, and desks for study from KCB. Several schools in Luwero struggling to get their kids chairs, let alone masks.

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Several government schools in the Luwero district are constrained due to overwhelming numbers of learners who returned following the lifting of the COVID 19 lockdown. Learners resumed studies on January 10th, 2022 after 22 months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, several schools are struggling with the overwhelming number of learners, which has led to a shortage of classrooms and furniture. The affected schools include among others Luwero Boys Primary, St Augustine Primary School Wabitungulu, Wobulenzi Public Primary School, Luwero Girls Primary School and Target Community College among others.

Hajji Abdul Noor Lwanga, the Head teacher of Target Community College in Wobulenzi town council explains that prior to the school closure, they had 768 students but their enrollment stands at 1011 learners.

Lwanga says that currently, the number of learners in each classroom has shot up from less than 70 learners to over 100. He says that to address the problem, they have created streams to accommodate learners but they face the challenge of inadequate classrooms and furniture.

Betty Kitiibwa, a monitor of Senior two class B at Target Community College, says that due to overwhelming numbers in classes, the concentration of learners is low.

Micheal Kintu, the Head teacher of Wobulenzi Public Primary School, says that according to the Standard Operating Procedures, they are supposed to accommodate only 800 learners but they have over 2300 pupils.

Kintu says that the school has 21 classrooms and has run out of space for expansion. He says that they are drafting a plan to construct a storied building to accommodate the overwhelming number of learners.

Daniel Ssajjabi, the Chairperson of Luwero District Private Primary and Secondary Schools Association, says that due to poverty, several parents decided to withdraw their children from private schools and register them in government schools, which explains the overwhelming numbers.

Daniel Kyaterekera, the Luwero District Secretary for Education, says that they noticed overwhelming numbers in government schools and expect tents from the Ministry of Education to host the learners. Kyaterekera however notes that only three primary schools will benefit from the donation leaving many others in the need.

He says that the district will also ensure that they construct two classroom blocks in each of the selected five schools in the next financial year to address the shortage of classrooms. Rosemary Namayanja, the Deputy Secretary-General of the ruling National Resistance Movement Party, says that the increase in the number of learners is a blessing to the schools.

Namayanja noted that there is a need for schools to mobilize parents to put up more structures as they seek government intervention.

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