Classroom Crisis Hits Hill Road Public School

4737 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Charles Nsereko, the Head Teacher Hill Road Public school says that the school admitted over 700 new pupils this year driving the enrollment to 2700 pupils. As a result, pupils are squeezed in multitudes with the available classrooms. On average, every classroom has 100 pupils.

Hill Road Public School in Masaka district is battling a classroom crisis following an increase in the number of pupils.

Charles Nsereko, the Head Teacher Hill Road Public school says that the school admitted over 700 new pupils this year driving the enrollment to 2700 pupils. As a result, pupils are squeezed in multitudes with the available classrooms. On average, every classroom has 100 pupils.

Uganda Radio Network visited the school and found the classes congested with each desk shared by five pupils. Others sit on the floor. A primary seven pupil who talked to URN observed that the congested affects their concentration and learning abilities.  He added that a leaking roof also disrupts their lessons whenever it rains.

However, Nsereko attributes the increase in enrollment to a good performance in Primary Leaving Examinations - PLE over the years. In 2016, Hill Road primary school recorded 108 candidates in first division, out of a class of 168 candidates.

According to Nsereko, at least 15 new classrooms will be needed to address the problem created by an increase in the number of pupils at the school.
 
// Cue in: "The children are…
Cue out: …to the teacher."//

Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga has asked Lukanga Majwaala, the Katwe-Butego division Chairman to ensure that his council allocates funds for additional classrooms at Hill Road Public school to address classroom crisis.

Mpuuga is however concerned that the school buildings are roofed with asbestos. Mpuuga noted that asbestos iron sheets are old fashioned and come with several health risks.

Studies have shown that exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma, a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen. They further show that exposure has an elevated risk for cancers of the throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder.

Asbestos exposure may also increase the risk of asbestosis, an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage.

 

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.