PAKWACH. The administration of Payago primary school in Pumit parish, Wadelai Sub County in Pakwach district has expressed concern over the slow progress of the construction works of a sh507m classroom block and 12 stance latrine.

The project funded by the World Bank under the Global Partnership Education Aid to Ugandan rural schools was meant to address the problem of the lack of classrooms and latrines.

Mr Joel Bedijo, the school’s head teacher said the works that were flagged off on August 1, 2017 were to be completed in August 2018 but four months to the completion time, the building is just reaching the beam level.

He attributed the delay to the fact that the first structure was dismantled because of shoddiness and poor workmanship that prompted Pakwach district leaders to order the work do be redone.

He said that slow progress is demoralizing the members of staff who were hoping for a quick end to teaching in leaky classrooms.

Currently, the pupils and teachers have continued to conduct lessons in the crumbling structures erected by the community two years ago.

The contract was awarded to Egiss Construction Company to build a five classroom block and 12-stance latrine.

The school has 694 pupils crammed in a building whose wattle walls have already crumbled and fallen off leaving the wooden poles to support the grass thatched and tarpaulin covered roof.

Payago primary school

The teachers meanwhile draw lesson plans and schemes of work under a tree and run home when signs of rainfall are detected.

But Mr John Ssebalamu, the project engineer has remained steadfast in promising that the completion deadline will be met.

Mr. Ssebalamu dismissed the concerns that their acquisition of all building materials from Kigumba ranging from the bricks, aggregate and sand was slowing the pace of the works.

He insisted that all the required materials are already on their way to the project site and they order materials from outside Pakwach in order to meet the project design specifications.

"We are working hard to make sure we finish in time and all materials are on the way coming from Kigumba" he said.

Mr Badijo said the project had come as a relief to vulnerable pupils although the building plan did not cater for staff houses.

Mr Paul Opige, the Pakwach district education officer said the completion of the project would aid enrolment of more children but he stressed that the most paramount thing was to ensure that the works are done to the requisite quality.

Payago primary school has only 8 teachers out of the required 17 needed to meet the high number of learners.

Mr Opige said Pakwach inherited the problem of poor staffing from Nebbi district but the district will try its best to rectfy the problem.