Lyakabirizi Cope Primary School in Kyazanga Town Council, Lwengo District, originally established in 2006 by UNICEF to educate adults who missed out on childhood education, now faces challenges as the government took over the school in 2017. The school, which currently enrolls 547 students and employs eight government-paid teachers, grapples with a severe shortage of classrooms and infrastructure.
The school has only two classrooms available, which must accommodate four different classes. Specifically, Primary Four and Primary Five students share one room, while Primary Six and Seven students also share another, leaving the remaining classes to conduct lessons in makeshift structures.
Head teacher Mr. Nicholas Magembe expressed concern about the situation and called for government intervention. He highlighted that the available makeshift structure, constructed by parents in 2006, is insufficient. The school’s academic performance suffers, especially during the rainy season when lessons become impossible. If rain occurs during morning hours, all 547 students must cram into the two small rooms, severely affecting the quality of education.
Primary Seven teacher Mr. Gordon Nuwagaba emphasized that lessons cannot proceed when his colleagues are teaching in Primary Six. They face challenges trying to maintain discipline while sharing the same space, often leading to disruptions and laughter during classes.
The lack of desks further compounds the issue. Primary Two teacher Ms. Salima Nakasujja explained that most students are forced to sit on the floor, making it difficult for them to concentrate during lessons. In total, the school has only 25 desks, and the majority of pupils sit on the floor.
Asuman Kibeherere, the village chairperson of Lyakibirizi, revealed that before the school’s establishment, students had to travel more than 5 kilometers to access education. However, due to the challenging learning environment, some parents withdraw their children from school and send them to work in the fields.
Lwengo District Chairperson Mr. Ibrahim Kitatta acknowledged the funding constraints and called upon the central government and other partners to support the school and improve its standards. He mentioned that the district allocated Shs120 million in the current financial year to construct three new classrooms at the school.