The absence of competent teachers and electricity is affecting computer studies at Atyak Seed School in Zombo district. Committed in April this year, Atyak secondary school has failed to conduct computer lessons, which are compulsory for learners in lower classes. The school’s leaders say that eight computer sets that the government gave them earlier this year are not being used because there isn’t enough electricity or teachers who know how to use them.
Isaac Atimnedi, a volunteer teacher at the school, says that besides the lack of power, the school lacks textbooks, making it hard to implement the competence-based curriculum. He explains that teaching computer skills to students without a demonstration makes the subject tricky.
Herbert Rwothomio, a senior student who dreams of becoming a computer engineer, wants the government to expedite the deployment of competent teachers and connect the school to electricity for effective learning. “We need the government to give us teachers so that we can achieve our goals in the future,” he noted.
Dillys Ayigaru, the head teacher of Atyak Seed School, says that they cannot offer all subjects as required by the curriculum since the ministry has delayed the posting of teachers to the school. According to Ayigaru, students who need ICT skills for their academic benefit are likely to end the term without any practical lessons.
“We really need at least 21 substantive teachers to be posted to the school if we are to offer all subjects as required by the new competence-based curriculum,” she said. Godfred Okura, the chairperson of Atyak Sub-county LC 3, says that the Ministry of Education and Sports needs to move quickly to send teachers to the school so that it doesn’t become a white elephant.
The Zombo District Education Officer says that his office is aware of the challenge at the school but hastens to add that their hands are tied as a district. Odeba is still hopeful that the Ministry of Education will send full-time teachers to the school soon, though.
Currently, the school has ten volunteer teachers and a substantive head teacher. The school, which opened its doors in the second term this year, now has 65 students. Atyak Seed School was built in the 2018-2019 financial year as part of the first phase of the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers Program for Results (UgIFT). It cost more than 2 billion shillings to build the school.