Kibaale School Pupils Forced to Study Under Trees Top story

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Pupils at Kitoma Primary School, Kibaale district are being forced to study under trees in the school compound for lack of enough classrooms. The Kanagwa parish, Mataale sub county school has an enrolment of 430 pupils.

Pupils at Kitoma Primary School, Kibaale district are being forced to study under trees in the school compound for lack of enough classrooms.
 
The Kanagwa parish, Mataale sub county school has an enrolment of 430 pupils. Kitoma Primary School is a government aided Universal Primary Education school.
 
The lack of enough classroom space has forced teachers to conduct lessons under mango and avocado trees. Teachers argue that this learning environment is partly responsible for the poor performance of the pupils. 

During the last Primary Leaving Examinations, Kitoma registered 2 first grades, 17 second grades, 11 third grades and 6 in fourth grade while 5 failed.  5 pupils did not turn up for their exams. In total 47 pupils had registered to sit the 2013 exams. 
 
When Uganda Radio Network (URN) visited the school, pupils in primary four and five were studying under trees. Class primary three pupils were studying in an unfinished structure.
 
Pupils told URN that they have been studying under such conditions for three years now.
 
A primary five class monitor who wanted URN to call him Byamukama said lessons end when it rains as they have to run for shelter.
 
Vicent Mugenyi, the school head teacher, says though the school has enough teachers it lacks the structures. Rather than have idle staff on his hands, he says they decided to teach the pupils under trees, weather permitting. The school has seven teachers, including the head teacher, on site. 
 
Mugenyi says the district education board has done little to nothing to help them. The school attempted to raise funds by appealing to parents but only managed to collect two million shillings. A structure is being constructed from this money but will hardly be able to accommodate all the pupils.
 
Although organizations like Emesco development Foundation have pledged to help, Mugenyi is not too optimistic as he has not seen much change in five years in the school's fortunes.
 
Kasaija Wilson, a parent with four children in this school, says if he was not too poor he would have taken his children to a private school. He says that as parents, they have done their part and the government should intervene.
 
Kyamanywa B Francis, the area schools inspector, when contacted revealed that Kibaale education department is constrained because it does not receive sufficient funds.
 
Semanda Apuuli, the senior school inspector in charge directorate of school standards in the Ministry of Education and sports, urges parents and other stakeholders to continue mobilizing funds than waiting for the government to help.