BUDAKA – A new term is starting in three days time [Monday next week] but unlike many students who are assured of the comfort in their classrooms, the situation in Bugwere high school is different.
Although under the Universal secondary school (USE), Bugwere high school is characterised by a set of unfortunate circumstances that have eluded children from realising the value of education.
For lack of classrooms, the school administration has turned the old school bus in the compound into a classroom for conducting lessons for optional subjects.
Although Bugwere high school in Budaka district has a population of over 3000 students, over 500 students offering optional subjects now attend their lessons in the school bus that was parked in the compound after it developed a mechanical fault.
And with the numbers growing at 5-10% annually, the school is confronting a lack of space for classrooms, especially for Ordinary level lessons which attract more students.
According to the headmaster Mr Azizi Walumoli, the government aided secondary school is overflowing with students and that the school has now been forced to teach students in a school bus and equipment shed.
When PML Daily visited the school, students were busy with their teachers attending lessons in a school bus.
This situation probably explains why many a children have deserted school and are busy in rice gardens chasing away birds and some are very busy fishing for a living in river Manafwa that goes through biggest rice growing swamps in Budaka.
Mr Walumoli says when he entered the school some four years ago, there were about 250 students in the school but that now the school enrollment stands at 3000 students who need more classrooms.
“And we have had no alternative but to allow about 600 students to be taught in the Bus and equipment shed in the compound. It’s very frustrating for all concerned – both the teacher and the students. It’s not an ideal situation but it’s our only option we have as a school,” said Mr Walumoli.
He added “Imagine the sight of a teacher projecting her voice across a group of students seated in a bus and seeking shade under equipment shed. This is a sad reality in Bugwere High school,” added Mr Walumoli.
Mr Paul Higenyi, the district Education officer consented the situation at Bugwere high school was appalling due to high student population but added quickly that government would sort it out any time.
Ms Pamela Kamugo, the Woman MP for Budaka district said she is aware of the situation at Bugwere I school and that she has forwarded it to government for a solution.
I am aware of this situation at the school and this being one of the biggest schools in Budaka district, we are seeking a solution from government. We have written to government and we know soon they will provide a solution,” said Ms Kamugo.
With their weary look, it’s easy to tell that although the students are determined to get an education, the conditions at school make it difficult.
This scenario characterises the misery faced by thousands of students at Bugwere I school in Budaka where majority have been reduced to rice gardens to scare off the birds that come to eat rice, Boda Boda riding and baking Chapati in trading centres.
A teacher who asked not to be named says following sensitisation through home to home visits and government USE programme, many children are eager to go to school, but that when it is time for learning, most of them would rather stay home because they have no desks, classrooms, and latrines.
The DEO Mr Higenyi consents the district is aware of the situation at Bugwere high school is in and that because of budgetary problems, they are yet to address the problems of the school but that they have written to ministry of Education about the situation.
“We have visited the school twice and we have planned for classrooms at the school, latrine pits due high population,” said Mr Higenyi.
BUGWERE HIGH SCHOOL
Located in present day Budaka district, Bugwere High school started in 1972 before government took over in 1985 and it is now under government programme of USE.
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