KOBOKO. Abele primary school (PS) girls in Koboko South Division, Koboko Municipality are grappling with in adequate number of toilet facilities.

As a result, many of the girls are being forced to line up during classroom break to access the only existing toilet while others run to neighboring homes for nature’s call.

The situation worsened recently when the five stance pit-latrine got over whelmed by the ever growing number of girls especially in lower primary classes.

Although boys nearly face a similar challenge, they have continued to share two toilet blocks of five and three stances as compared to the highly populated number of girls.

It is for this reason that the school administration was recently forced to encourage pupils who reside near the school to start going home when nature calls them.

Mr John Avuga, the Abele PS head teacher said the school administration has tried its best to continue emptying the three latrines but with the increasing number of pupils, he noted that the latrines get filled up within a short period of time.

Avuga explained that the school is not in position to independently sink more latrines due to lack of finances since they only rely on the meager universal primary education (UPE) funds and some little collections from parents for specific programs like end of term examinations.

He said Abele PS which is one of the oldest government schools in Koboko Municipality has an enrolment of 2402 pupils of which 1,308 are girls and 1094 boys.

"When the time for short call comes, girls' latrine is terribly congested and that has prompted us to send them in shifts as we encourage those living near the school to rush home," Avuga stressed.

He called upon Koboko Municipal Council authorities to consider coming to their aide lest they are bound to lose girls to nearby schools due to the inadequate number of toilets.

Ms Suzan Nabukwasi, the school’s senior woman teacher said inadequate toilet facility is also forcing many girls especially those experiencing menstrual period to remain at home until it is over.

"The girls are trying to avoid being ashamed by boys during menstruation period since they can’t find an immediate help by accessing latrines and that is why they opt to remain home. The practice is bound to affect the girls’ performance in school if the situation is not addressed soon,” Nabukwasi said.

However, Mr David Dimba, the Koboko Municipal education officer disclosed that there is a budget allocated for the construction of a classroom block and a ventilated improved pit-latrine at Abele primary school to address the challenge.

"We are aware of latrine and classroom shortage at Abele PS given the increased number of pupils in the school but this financial year, something will be done about it," Mr Dimba promised.