Strong wind leaves Kabale school naked

Education
Strong wind leaves Kabale school naked
More than 100 pupils have been taking lessons from makeshift classrooms

KABALE | Nyabushabi Primary School in Kabale District is seeking urgent assistance after a strong wind blew off the roofing of a classroom block, leaving up to four classes looking to the skies.

The March 21 damage displaced more than 100 pupils in both nursery and upper primary sections of the school located in Kyanamira Sub-county.

Established in 1932 as a church-founded school, Nyabushabi is grappling with deteriorating and substandard structures dating back to the 1970s.

The recent winds exacerbated the vulnerability of the structures, causing damage to the classroom block and toppling trees surrounding the premises.

In response to the crisis, the school management relocated the affected classes to a block previously used as a chapel and main hall, despite part of it being recommended for closure due to its poor condition.

The main hall was partitioned into two with pieces of iron sheet to accommodate the displaced classrooms.

Head teacher Alex Biryomumeisho confirmed that the winds damaged the roof of the Primary 5 and 6 classroom block, fortunately without causing harm to any students or teachers.

However, he noted that the makeshift classrooms lack adequate insulation, affecting the learning environment as noise from adjacent classes disrupts lessons.

Biryomumeisho lamented the delay in government intervention, saying that despite visits from officials, there has been no concrete plan to address the damaged structures.

He urged the government to prioritise the renovation or construction of new buildings.

“The partitioned main hall is not helpful as learners in one class can hear out what is going on in the next makeshift class," Biryomumeisho said.

The head teacher's biggest concern is the rains.

Nyabushabi Primary School is in desperate need of roofing after damage caused by a storm

"This old building which we are currently using may also collapse but it's still better than pupils studying under the trees," he said.

“I believe the governments needs to look at renovating or putting up new structures coz when you look at most of these structures affected by wind, they are very old. When the classrooms are not in good shape then the performance of pupils will be affected."

Amos Naturinda, the lay reader at Nyabushabi Church of Uganda and chairperson of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), expressed gratitude that no injuries were reported but emphasised the urgent need for government support.

He highlighted the age and poor condition of the existing structures, urging authorities to allocate funds for new construction.

Moses Bwengye, the Kabale district education officer, said he was aware of the situation at Nyabushabi Primary School but cited a lack of emergency funds for immediate repairs.

He said government funds are typically allocated for specific purposes, making it difficult to divert resources to unforeseen circumstances.

Bwengye also acknowledged the bureaucratic hurdles in accessing emergency funds, attributing delays to centralized processes across government sectors.

He referenced a similar incident at Maziba Primary School in 2021, where government intervention took two years, underscoring the challenges in expediting assistance.

“We are aware of the situation at Nyabushabi primary School, but as a district we don’t have emergency funds to fix the problem," Bwengye  said.

"As a district most of the time we receive conditional grants and it’s hard to divert them for other projects.”

Nyabushabi Primary School currently has a population of 507 learners.

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