By Stephen Enatu
Some primary schools in Soroti district have turned classrooms into teachers’ houses.
In an impromptu visit to Ochuloi Primary School in the newly curbed sub county of Ochuloi in Soroti District by this reporter, teachers were seen using a newly constructed classroom block as their residential.
The two classroom block that is being used by two teachers faces the busy compound at the school.
Rachael Alweo, one of the teachers at the school, said that the school currently lacks accommodation to house all the 15 staff members available with four staff sharing the teacher’s houses meant for two.
“We have houses that were supposed to house two teachers but you find four sharing it and that is why you’re seeing others occupying the classroom blocks,” she said.
John Cavine Elenyu, the Secretary Social Services at Soroti District Local Government acknowledged the challenges in the education sector noting that securing accommodation for teachers does not only call for the District input but also the school management committee to mobilize parents and set up some structures that can help.
“Sizeable numbers of teachers are not occupying houses within the quarters, some schools have got semi-permanent buildings. Now during during the covid time, schools were closed and many staff left their duty stations and probably termites destroyed some of such houses,” he said.
Elenyu added that with 79 schools headed by the Government in Soroti district, there are meager resources to facilitate establishment of structures.
“Central government generally has not put a deliberate effort to address some of these challenges like improving the infrastructure for teacher’s houses. Whereas they have tried now to raise the classroom blocks for learning purposes in the education sector, teachers’ houses have not been given priority,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Education and sports revised calendar, primary one to three will on the 7th June 2021 join their friends of primary 6, 5 and four for normal studies.
Primary six, five and four resumed school on the 1st March and 6th April 2021, respectively.
Government allowed schools to resume in a staggered way with stringent guidelines to follow like one learner per desk after a period of over a year of lockdown to combat the spread of the pandemic.
However a pertinent question now arises; what will happen in such schools having classrooms turned into residential for teachers..?