Friday, 26 September 2014


Gov't gets sh260b to renovate 293 schools
Publish Date: Sep 18, 2014

By Innocent Anguyo
Government has secured $100m loan (approximately sh260b) from the World Bank to finance the renovation and re-equipment 293 traditional primary schools across the country.
Speaking to New Vision in an exclusive interview in Mbale town on Monday, Education Minister Jessica Alupo said the move is aimed at reinforcing the capacity of traditional schools to meet the changing learning needs of Ugandan children in a modern era.
Alupo said the project is part of President Yoweri Museveni's ambitious blueprint to revolutionize Uganda’s education as all East African Community member states prepare to harmonize their education systems.
Under the project's component of restoring  the fast dilapidating whilst crowded facilities of the traditional schools, new equipment and furniture will also be supplied to the beneficiary institutions.
Alupo said motorcycles will also be supplied to at least 69 districts for inspection, as government seeks to increase supervision of primary schools following years of public concern that pupils are getting a raw deal from universal education.
With part of the money, Alupo said all teachers at the lower primary level will also receive in-service training. This, Alupo revealed is meant to introduce teachers to new practices that may make learning more enjoyable to the pupils.
The capacity of the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) to assess pupils will also be enhanced as government attempts to steer students clear of cramming to pass exams towards developing a craving for learning.
Alupo made the remarks on the sidelines of her on-going tour of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) funded projects undertaken by the Education Ministry. Alupo’s tour is meant to assess the progress of the projects.
Last year, government received a $80m (about sh200b) loan from IDB to construct and reconstruct 25 technical institutions and teacher training institutions across the country. 
The works which began in December 2013 are expected to wind up at the end of this year.
The main objective of the project is to expand equitable access to quality Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) and science-focused Teacher Instructor Education and Training (TIET) in Uganda.
The minister and her entourage comprising experts are currently making on sight visits to the eight of the beneficiary technical institutions. Uganda Technical College Elgon in Mbale district is one of the beneficiary institutions. 
Under the project, Elgon will be rehabilitated and expanded to meet the technical educational demands of the eastern region. Supply of furniture, equipment, tools and textbooks are planned under the project. Provision of ICT equipment of is also on the card. 
According to Robert Komakec, the consultant of the civil works at Elgon, at the end of the project, 5358m2 of new training area will eventually be added to the school’s profile.
A two-storey block of classrooms in being constructed at Elgon. Each of the six classrooms will hold at least 40 students per sitting.
Also being constructed are eight laboratories with each having a sitting capacity of at least 40 students. Three workshops with each having a sitting capacity of 40 are also being erected for Plumbing and Pipe Fitting, Electrical Installation and Electronics.
Students’ hostel for with a capacity to accommodate 224 beds is being put up; in addition to a six bed medical Centre.
Also being constructed is a water borne lavatory- with five toilets including urinals for boys and three toilets for girls (inclusive of two toilets for the disabled). The facility includes seven hand wash basins.
Chain Link Fence, 100,000litre underground water tank, paved walkways, storm water drainage, landscaping interconnecting bridges and ramps are some facilities being built at Elgon.
Underground cabling to new buildings including provision of new feeder pillars, water supply and storage complete with 55,000litre overhead reserve tank, foul water drainage and 30 user septic tanks are the other facilities being established at Elgon.
Alupo told the contractor, Amugoli General Enterprise Limited to install durable equipment in the new buildings, saying it would take a while for government to construct such facilities again at Elgon.
About 50% of the works have been completed, four months from the deadline. Government allocated sh8.04b of the IDB loan money to Elgon.
Jane Bella Magombe, the chairperson of Elgon’s governing council, lauded government for funding the civil works, saying the institution’s rehabilitation and expansion was long overdue. She wants the institution to be elevated to a polytechnic.
The 83-year old institution was established in 1931. It hasn’t seen much rehabilitation since then, despite the rapid growth in enrollment.


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