The Tuition Free Education Policy has taken its toll on teachers at Popondetta Primary School.
They welcomed the government’s initiative, but raised serious concerns on classroom infrastructure, teachers housing, and pay.
The burden is too much that many of the teachers are struggling to give their best to their students.
Popondetta Primary School is a level seven school, and the largest in Popondetta, Northern Province.
It was established in the 1950’s. Much of their infrastructure has seen better days.
The introduction of the Tuition Free Education has resulted in an increase in student numbers, to 989.
This has placed a strain on its aging facilities.
Head Teacher Rita Wairaf, says the school is constantly faced with the dilemma of overcrowding, and shortage of desks.
This year, it received its first part of its subsidy of K109, 000 but it is not enough, she says.
Staff numbers have decreased to 26, making it difficult for teachers to give their best to students.
One teacher is attending to 45 to 50 students in a class.
The amount of workload is also a burden for teachers, and they feel they are not being compensated enough.
Mrs. Uiari says the government has made education its priority by allocating the bulk of the budget to the sector for two consecutive years, but there is nothing to show for it, on the ground.
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