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Bukedea Teachers Take Matters Into Their Own Hands, Build Homes Amidst School Infrastructure Crisis

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Thursday, December 14, 2023

In a striking display of resilience and determination, teachers at Acomai Primary School in Kamutur Sub-county, Bukedea District, have embarked on a mission to construct their own houses during the extended holiday period. Frustrated by a lack of government support for the past 26 years, these educators are taking matters into their own hands amidst a dire school infrastructure crisis.

Acomai Primary School stands as one of the underprivileged government-aided schools in Bukedea District, featuring only a dilapidated classroom block, teetering on the verge of collapse. Shockingly, the school lacks essential facilities such as teachers’ houses, a staff room, and offices. The lone classroom block accommodates all six classes, totaling 500 pupils, highlighting the dire conditions in which both students and teachers operate.

Mr. Robert Oluga, a dedicated teacher who has served at the school for the past nine years without accommodation, shared the challenges faced by the staff. With rising rent costs in distant trading centers, teachers often find themselves unable to report for duty during heavy rainfall.

“We had planted clone eucalyptus trees as teachers, and that is what we are using as poles to construct houses. However, these trees are not enough, and some teachers have to look for trees to supplement the poles available in the school forest,” Mr. Oluga explained.

Mr. Martine Olupot, another committed educator, expressed the hardships of trekking 11 kilometers daily to reach the school. He emphasized the difficulties faced by teachers, describing their experiences as making “teaching seem like a cursed profession.”

The teachers’ decision to construct mud-and-wattle houses, reinforced by sturdy poles, was prompted by the lack of progress on government promises to improve the school’s infrastructure. The educators, facing adversity, have resorted to utilizing resources at their disposal, including clone eucalyptus trees planted by teachers.

Mr. Stephen Okurut, the Bukedea District education officer, acknowledged the challenging circumstances, citing limited funds as a constraint. He reassured the community that plans to enhance infrastructure at Acomai Primary School are in the pipeline, with hopes that funding will materialize to realize these plans.

The initiative to build homes, spearheaded by the school’s headteacher, underscores the resilience of the teaching staff and the urgency for comprehensive improvements in the education sector.

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