Parents build a school to help children after government failure

Parents building a classroom structure

Parents in Jiro village, Kuluba subcounty, Koboko district have decided to construct a school in order to help their children access education.

The area does not have a nursery, primary or secondary school. Children walk for more than six miles to get to the nearest school.

John Buga, the area LC1 chairperson, said the Government has taken long to respond to their complaints, that is why the community decided to mobilize and construct a school. According to Buga, a resident donated land and others volunteered to provide materials that can be used to put up the structures.

“Last week parents started roofing the mud-and-wattle structures that will house an Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) and lower primary sections,” Buga said.

He also noted that the school will run from nursery to Primary Three and that more classrooms will be added every year.

Mary Yakulya, a mother of five said most of her children do not go to school because of the long distance. Children have to wait until they are 10 years to start school.

“As a community, we have constructed the school, but we call on the Government to give us a hand,” Yakulya said.

She explained that now that they are starting a primary school, they will also need a secondary school. Literacy and Adult Basic Education (LABE) is helping the community to train parents to become teachers.

Richard Opio, the LABE acting team leader for Northern Uganda, said they decided to train the parents because they could not afford to hire professional teachers.

“We believe that parent educators will play an important role in the school since we do not have professional teachers yet,” he said.

Unlike in many schools where children play using toys, parents have improvised local materials, such as trees and old car tires.