Friday, September 9, 2016

Primary school leavers who have never stepped into a classroom

 

Lindi. The majority of pupils at Litigi Primary School in Nyangao District, Lindi Region, do not come to school regularly as the school has an acute shortage of classrooms.

Hamisi Ibrahim and his colleagues have just finished their Standard 7 national examinations without sitting in a classroom. The 13-year-old is a pupil at Litigi Primary School in Nyangao ward, Lindi Region.

 “I spent my six years at school without sitting at a desk. It is only this year plastic desks were even though we studied under trees and during the rainy season lessons came to a halt until the showers of blessing are over,” he says.

Mariam Fares in an interview with The Citizen, said she had given up and has no hope of passing her exams.

“Since I was in Standard One, I have been on the ground, it is only this year when chairs and tables were brought. Our teachers walk long distances and start lessons tired. In fact, I have no any hope of passing my exams because last year no any pupil joined Form One.

Another pupil, Mussa Mohammed said, “Our teachers mark our books while seated on the ground.’’

Mr Omary Ally has taught at Litigi Primary School since 2013. He says poor infrastructure is one of the greatest challenges.  The school has two buildings that are used as a single class.

Mr Ally said the school sometimes uses the village office as a temporary classroom. He added that residents are not attended to when lessons are going on.

He says the teachers’ accommodation is another major challenge.  “We walk all the way from Nyangao Ward, about 10 kilometres away. There is no way you can start lessons in time,” he says.

Another teacher, Mr John Mitumbili, says truancy among pupils is prompted by the poor infrastructure.

 He, however, says the ongoing construction of two teachers’ houses would help solve the problem.

He attributes poor performance in the last Standard 7 national examinations to postponement of lessons over rains.

“The big problem here is poor environment.  When it rains, we are forced to squeeze in the same building and sometimes close the school,’’ he says.

Litigi Village chairman Kasa Mtebu says: “Plans are afoot to add more classrooms.  We have started with one building and the government has given us Sh10 million,” he says.

In an interview with The Citizen, Lindi municipal Information Officer Majdi Mbale says the authorities are aware of the problems and says plans were in place to improve the teaching and learning environment.

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