John Odongo is the Chairperson LCIII of Alwa sub-county in Kaberamaido. He has asked the government to increase the Discretionary Development Equalization Grant (DDEG) funding.
By Robert Edwomu
Kaberemaido – December 1, 2022: Primary school teachers in Kaberamaido district have decried the alarming shortages of accommodation threatening their services in schools.
Although the government policies are created in order to make sure that problems facing teachers and Universal Primary Education are solved, implementation of such policies remains hanging.
Teachers complain that the catastrophes have left them grappling to offer education services to the community.
Goretty Ajwado, a teacher at Alwa primary school that survived death with her children after a structure fell at night during heavy rain describes teachers’ working conditions “as worse than that of security officers”.
Ajwado narrates that after surviving death, she packed her luggage to leave the schools with aims of quitting the teaching profession due to such circumstances.
The victim blames the government for not paying keen attention to the teachers like scientists yet all professionals pass through the hands of the teacher.
Veronica Adepo, another teacher states that the house she sleeps in leaks and sometimes it damages pupils’ books and papers collected for marking.
She says the worrying living conditions are “scary when heavy rains” on the weaker structures.
Adepo notes that the teacher’s poor living status hinders them from delivering excellent performance.
Francis Elianu, the head teacher at Alwa Primary School says his school has only one permanent house that was built by NUSAF and the rest as semi permanent constructed by parents.
Elianu reveals that sometimes he gets into the guidance of the disgruntled teachers and encourages them to stay since some of them want to leave due to unbearable conditions.
Elizabeth Atubo, deputy head teacher Teete Primary school narrates how termites chased one of her teachers from the grass thatched house and ended up living in the head teacher’s kitchen.
She reveals that the head teacher’s house is currently being shared by four teachers.
John Odongo is the Chairperson LCIII of Alwa sub county. He asked the government to increase the Discretionary Development Equalization Grant (DDEG) funding to meet the capacity of constructing teachers housing.
Odongo says the government’s failure to improve teacher’s welfare has left them with no option rather than mobilizing parents to construct houses for teachers.
He states out of the shs80 million budget this financial year, only shs18 million is expected from DDEG to cater for such development.
Richard Eliebu, the district Education Officer of Kaberamaido, admits that teacher’s accommodation crisis has hit the entire district.
He says the district has a total of 547 primary teachers against accommodation of 87 leaving the district at a teacher accommodation ratio of 6:1 reflecting six teachers sharing one house.
Eliebu says the district has taken about 10 years without direct government funding to teachers house construction as the last government support of teachers accommodation construction was during NUSAF II.
He says the gap has left the schools dependent on Parents Teachers Association (PTA) contributions as School Management Committees (SMC) design a strategy of allocating each village a task to construct a teacher’s house.
He asked the government to improve on next financial year’s Interplanetary File System (IPFS) to increase accommodation and classroom coverage.
Martine Edakasi the MP Kaberamaido County says the challenge is very big because some teachers sleep in class rooms as many commute.
He supported Alwa, Teete and Aturgalin primary schools with over sixty pieces of iron sheets to raise the structures.