PARENTS, GOV’T URGED TO BUILD MORE CLASSROOMS, LATRINES IN ADJUMANI GIRLS’ PRIMARY SCHOOL

Adjumani girls primary school learners during their anniversary celebrations last week

BY MARKO TAIBOT

ADJUMANI: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2022

The management of Adjumani girls’ primary school has urged the parents and the government to intervene to address the inadequate classrooms and lack of washrooms for the girl child in Adjumani girls’ primary school.

The school which initially began as a girls’ only school has enrolled 827 girls this academic year. There are additional 632 pupils in the boys’ wing giving a combined total of 1,459 pupils, including 241 refugees.

With this number of children, Rebecca Konyio Gobbi, the school’s headmistress said the need 27 classrooms to conform to the government’s set classroom-pupil ration but the available classrooms are only 14.

The school has 10 latrines, meaning it is short of 22 latrines to make it 36 and there are only 18 teachers at the school out of the ceiling of 29 teachers.

“The classroom pupil ratio is at 1:105, and the pupil latrine ratio is at 1:145 and a high pupil-teacher ratio due to the high enrolment,” Gobbi said.

The head teacher appealed to parents and the government to extend some support to the school in order to construct more latrines and classroom facilities since the few are being shared by the teachers and pupils.

Esther Okudra, the community development officer of Adjumani district who doubles as the chairperson of the Schools Management Committee (SMC) and a former pupil of the school, observed that the lack of sanitary facilities especially washrooms in the school needs to be addressed because it is key to the menstrual hygiene of the girlchild.

“The absence of washrooms and other necessary facilities are going to drive many young girls out of school. I want to appeal to the parents to work hard and support the school to be able to establish washrooms for girls to use,” Okudra said.

Fr Andrew Inyaga, the former education secretary of the Arua diocese challenged the parents of the school to prioritize the education of their children by working hard and providing a conducive learning environment.

Fr Andrew Inyaga addressing parents during the Anniversary of the school

“Without education, we shall not get people to serve the nation. As you pray you should also work, concentrate on reading and do routine exercise to remain healthy,” Inyaga counselled.

Philip Akuku Kayakya, the district education officer of Adjumani, acknowledged that the challenges of classrooms, latrines, and teachers are district-wide because of the presence of refugees.

“The district has a gap of 275 classrooms, 6,020 desks for learners, 483 staff houses and 300 teachers to match the standards,” Akuku disclosed.

He added that Adjumani district has a latrine shortage of 1,724 stances yet the standard ratio should be one latrine for 96 learners, one desk for 8 children and one classroom for 120 learners.

Akuku said in the first quarter of the last financial year, the education department got a donation of Sh500m from the Office of the Prime Minister which was prioritized for the rehabilitation of existing classrooms.

He expressed hope that the district council will consider allocating funds for at least three more classrooms for Adjumani Girls’ primary school.

The Adjumani girls’ primary school was founded by the Verona fathers in 1953 but in the early 1900s a boys’ wing was opened due to overwhelming demand from the parents though the school maintained its original name.

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