By Innocent Atuganyira
KIRYANDONGO: Leaders in Kiryandongo district have rejected the handover of Kitwara Seed school by CMD Investments limited a company which was contracted to construct the school at a cost of 2.48 billion shillings under Uganda intergovernmental fiscal transfer program-UgIFT.
The leaders rejected the new buildings on grounds of shoddy works which were observed on Wednesday during the school inspection ahead of the planned handover to the district by the contractor in preparation for the official commissioning by the ministry of education and sports.
Edith Aliguma Adyeri the LCV chairperson Kiryandongo expressed her disappointment in the contractor who did not pay keen attention to the issues brought to her attention for rectification during the project monitoring and site meetings held at Kitwara seed school since the launch of the construction in November 2019.
Aliguma added that the district authorities as stakeholders in the construction of Kitwara seed school played their role by monitoring the projects and holding site meetings as a way of ensuring the delivery of good quality works as per the bills of quantities.
Dan Muganga the Kiryandongo Resident District Commissioner noted that the contractor had beautified the wall surfaces of the buildings to cover up the shoddy works on the floors and the ceilings.
He also called upon the supervising Engineer to ensure quality works before the buildings were received by the district leaders.
Muganga urged the supervising Engineer to be regular at Kitwara seed school during the period in which the contractor will be rectifying defects so as to offer the necessary technical guidance.
Kitwara village where the seed school is located is not connected to the national electrical grid and this will affect the utilization of the computers procured for ICT lessons by the students.
Muganga called upon the government of Uganda through Rural Electrification Agency to extend power to Kitwara so as the computers procured serve the purpose.
According to Samuel Muhumuza the supervising Engineer, the contractor had not heeded to the recommendations made during the previous site meetings. However, because of the demand for classrooms, the stakeholders during the previous site meeting agreed that the learners use the facilities when schools reopen.
Before the district secured the 2.48 billion shillings for the construction of Kitwara Seed, the school had makeshift structures of papyrus mats with a dilapidated three-stances pit latrine which served 133 students and their teachers.
The school also lacked accommodation facilities for teachers and this greatly affected the academic performance of the school.
Currently the school is struggling with low enrolment because of a lack of boarding facilities to attract learners who are far away from the school and if not addressed, the school is likely to become a white elephant.
Ruth Musinguzi the acting head teacher Kitwara seed school noted that after the construction of classroom blocks and other facilities, the enrolment increased from 133 before the lockdown to 197 students for term one 2022.
Ruth attributes the increment in number of students to new structures constructed at Kitwara seed school as well as coding by the ministry of education and sports.
However, as the district leaders rejected the facilities, the students who at once studied under the makeshift classrooms were excited by the new developments at their school as they explained the challenges they faced before.
“Our books were being destroyed by rain while we were still under the papyrus mat class rooms, we even didn’t have black boards and this made our studies very difficult. We are grateful to the government of Uganda for thinking about our school.” Said Kiwanuka Joshua, a senior four student at Kitwara seed school.
The students are optimistic that with the new infrastructure at the school, they will be in position to compete favorably and perform well during their final UNEB exams.
The students have called upon the government to post more teachers at Kitwara seed school so as to solve the challenge of colliding lessons on the time tables as one teacher handles more than one subject from senior one to senior four.
Kitwara seed school currently has 13 staff against the total ceiling of 31 as per the government standard.