Bad governance affecting Soni Ogwang primary school performance

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Soni Ogwang primary school pupils at break (photo April 2014)

Soni Ogwang primary school pupils at break (photo April 2014)

Soni Ogwang primary school is mixed day school located in Ketejula parish Nagongera Sub County Tororo district. The school has a population of 560 pupils. WOUGNET established the Social Accountability Committee (VSACs) to monitor public service delivery in efforts to demand for accountability and fight corruption tendencies within the community where they live. During one of their monitoring exercises, the VSACs of Katejula parish found out that the school is facing a state of collapse as a result of multiple bad governance issues.

The problem stems from irresponsible parenting and the school administration. As highlighted by the VSACs, the parents and the school administration do not take trouble to check-up what the pupils do at school or home and the community at large. The children take crude Waragi from the trading centres and readily go for the discos as it happens in the surrounding community. Parents do not provide meals for children at school. The parents have shown no cooperation with the teachers in managing the affairs of the school.

The school is meant to have seven teachers but two of them already reached retirement age and they no longer come to teach. The headmaster is part of the five teachers and he is not a full time teacher but a head teacher.  Currently one of the four teachers is in maternity leave and two of the four teachers are not in the government pay roll, thus they come to school at their own will and not regular in attendance. This means the school has only one fulltime committed staff manning the seven classes.

Salaries of the two teachers have not been paid for some months, the school lacks adequate classrooms, has inadequate latrine facilities- only 5 stances and no proper water source for the school. There is no fence and the compound requires leveling as the play ground has so many ant hills. There is poor attendance by pupils especially on the market days. There are only four chairs in the head teacher’s office and no bookshelf in the offices. The classroom floor is not cemented and full of dust. There is no kitchen at the school. The school also needs a watchman.

This has magnified the already existing poor performance in the education sector in the district. Currently the district has had challenges of children failing to pass in first grade. Most schools hardly even get children passing in second or third grade. Soni Ogwangi primary school has not been an exception to this ordeal.

As part of their roles in demanding accountability, the VSACs have opted to present the case with the sub county council as their next step in pursuing good governance for this institution. They have also thought of involving both teachers and parents in deciding on the appropriate ways to address the matter. Their immediate recommendation is for the school management committee to lobby for recruitment of more staff. This information was sent by the VSACs of Katejula parish to Tororo Information Centre -WOUGNET Office of Eastern region.

Soni Ogwang Primary school class room block (Photo taken-April 2014)

Soni Ogwang Primary school class room block (Photo taken-April 2014)

Compiled by: Bukare Agnes Project Officer – WOUGNET Eastern region