Masaka's Only Community Library in Ruins

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A community library and science laboratory that were major study centers in Nyendo Township in Masaka are in ruins. Nyendo Community Library was built by a group of secondary school teachers ten years ago to serve students from low-income families or poorly facilitated schools. The library was to be stocked with a large range of books for primary, secondary and tertiary education and the laboratory was to have all the modern science study equipment. Despite its conducive location and the evident demand for its services, the center is near ruin. The roof of the library is leaking and shelves are empty. There are only 10 secondary school books in store. Ben Kiyijja, founder of Nyendo Community Library, says he has failed to raise money to stock the library. He says promises by the Ministry of Education and Sports to buy books and laboratory equipment have not been fulfilled. The library even applied for a business loan from Centenary Rural Development Bank, but was rejected. Kiyijja says he needs at least 20 million shillings to buy new books and to start operations at the laboratory. //Cue in: "If the government ..." Cue out: "... Ssenyange Division."// The only other libraries in the area are not equipped to deal with the clientele Nyendo Community Library targeted. Kitengesa Community Library an offshoot of Kitengesa Comprehensive Secondary School is small and contains only secondary school books. Masaka Public Library is better stocked, but run down and poorly managed. Ruth Nalunkuuma, a Business Administration student at Uganda Martyrs University Masaka Campus, attests to the demand for a functional community library in Masaka. She says she needs a good range of books for research, but is not always able to access her university library. //Cue in: "You come ..." Cue out: "... what you want."// Hellen Nakasujja, a senior six student of Nyendo Mixed School, says a library in Nyendo would fully serve her needs. She doesn't have money to travel to Masaka Public Library every time she needs to borrow a book. Nakasujja says that even when she has the money she is loath to go to Masaka Public Library because the roof leaks and there are not enough desks and chairs for her to use. David Kawooya, the Masaka Municipality Education Officer, says he understands the problem. He says that unfortunately the municipality doesn't get any money to restock the public library or to support independent community libraries.

 

Tagged with: library literacy education

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