MARACHA. Authorities in Atratraka primary school in Oluvu sub-county have appealed to Maracha district local government to build more classrooms and deploy more teachers to manage the unprecedented enrollment this year.
According to the head teacher Mr. Alfred Bada, the facilities and number of teachers from the school are inadequate to accommodate the learning needs of close to 2500 pupils enrolled since the beginning of the year 2019.
Parents from far are motivated to send their children to the school due to good performance in Primary Living Examination (PLE) in recent years.
“Although this is a positive turn up, we are limited to offer the best service for these children due to few classrooms and 14 teachers here are inadequate. As a head teacher, I am forced to teach English both in P.6 and P.7, how will I get time to attend meetings in the district and supervising the teachers”, Bada wondered.
According to the teachers from the school, the enrollment has hindered employment of professional practices for class control especially from P.1-4 since sitting on a desk and accessing a classroom during lessons by pupils occurs by chance.
“We are worried, learning is not taking place as expected here because we are limited from doing our work professionally, there is no fixed sitting arrangement and latecomers sit on the ground close to the chalkboard and others automatically are relegated to learn under trees,” the teachers explained.
According to a P.1 class teacher, they have enrolled over 400 pupils and congest 300 of them in a class that is supposed to accommodate 55 pupils while the excess pupils are taught under a mango tree.
Ms. Isabella Gala, the P. 4 English teacher stated that the girls fear to move in the classroom because the pupils jump over the closely parked desks to access their seats.
The parents are already getting concerned since the performance in the school is dropping steadily manifested in the PLE results for last year where only two candidates passed in grade one compared to eleven candidates in the grade one in 2017.
Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) chairperson of the school Mr. John Niceto Roku blamed the district for transferring teachers without replacement because there were 28 teachers in the school before.
He also challenged the parents to own the school and start contributing towards development in the school that started in 1954 less than 300m from Uganda-DRC border.
The School Management Committee (SMC) chairperson Mr. Peter Asema said the government should also extend her support in constructing teacher’s houses as the school is accommodating some teachers in abandoned classrooms.
“The government should build permanent houses for teachers straight away because if the parents construct temporary structures here, it will block space for major projects in future as the school has limited land”, Asema explained.
The district secretary for social services Ms. Judith Bako said they are committed to supporting infrastructure development based on reports from the inspector of schools across the district but they prioritize the resources to worst affected schools due to inadequate funds.
The community school named Atratraka because pupils from different communities were combined together to receive an education was initially managed with full support from the community but their support dropped after the government introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) Sin 1997 and constructed three classroom blocks under School facility Grant (SFG) and NUSAF.