Classroom Crisis Forces Pupils to Occupy Defective Blocks

2486 Views Kyotera, Uganda

In short
Steven Kakeeto, the Masaka Municipal Education Officer, says the high number of pupils at Hill Road Public school forced them to authorize the school to utilize the classrooms. He says they decided to withhold the money for the liability period after the contractor declined to redo the works.

The classroom shortage at Hill Road Public school in Masaka municipality has forced pupils to occupy two substandard classroom blocks. In 2015, Masaka Municipality contracted Ketex Services limited to construct two classroom blocks at Hill Road Public School to address classroom shortage.  
 
The classroom block project cost Shillings 114 million. However, the Auditor General queried the quality of work, saying the classroom blocks were built in a shoddy manner. In his report, the Auditor General noted that they found several defects on the classroom blocks.
 
 
He observes that the floor surface had cracks and that there is poor jointing of timber on the roof. The report also notes that the concrete beam is too and the installed lighting arresters are of poor quality.
 
 
He explains that the tests carried out on the concrete gave an average strength of 22N/MM less than the expected 25N/mm. The Auditor General ordered Ketex Services limited to redo the work or else Masaka municipality recovers the money.


However, two years later the contractor has never redone the work. The contractor has also never handed over the project. However, the classroom shortage has forced the school to use the substandard classroom block.


Steven Kakeeto, the Masaka Municipal Education Officer, says the high number of pupils at Hill Road Public school forced them to authorize the school to utilize the classrooms. He says they decided to withhold the money for the liability period after the contractor declined to redo the works.
 

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Our reporter found primary one, P5 and top class pupils occupying the defective classroom blocks. The chalkboards have started giving way.

The locks on the doors of the classroom blocks are dysfunctional. Agatha Namale, a primary one teacher, says their classroom block leaks.
 
She says although the building appears new, it has started developing cracks thanks to the poor construction.


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Katumba Ssegawa, the Managing Director of Ketex Services limited who is also the Masaka municipality NRM Chairman declined to comment on the defects on the classroom blocks.

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.