Improved school environment

08:21 Mar 22 2017 Kiboga, Uganda

This story was documented by Mr. Ssonko James CVA
practitioner in Ntwetwe AP Kiboga cluster in February 2017s.

Kiryanongo primary school is located in Kiryanongo LCI, Kiryanongo Parish, Nkandwa Sub-county (Ntwetwe AP) in Kyankwanzi district. From Kampala the capital city of Uganda you take Hoima road and you travel 120 km to Kiboga town council where the cluster offices are located. You continue along Hoima road 3 km from Kiboga up to Masodde where you branch off to Ntwetwe town council headquarters. From Ntwetwe you take Bukwiri road and you move 4 km to Kiryanongo trading centre. Kiryanongo Primary school is built on approximately 5 acres of land given by Ndibata Catholic-parish.
In 2010 parents had removed their children from Kiryanongo Primary school and were travelling long distances to schools like Magala in Natyole and Parents in Ntwetwe while the SMC had withdrawn from the management of the school. The SMC, Staff and parents meetings could no longer sit, monitoring was not being done, staff, parents and SMC were divided, teachers would reach late, leave early and absentee themselves, the school enrolment had dropped from 300 to 80 pupils and the status from P.7 to P.5. The staff ceiling was 8 as per district allocation but there were only 3 teachers. There was little teaching and performance was poor because every head teacher posted would stay for only a few months because the conditions were not favoring. The worst part of it the school with seven classes had only four classrooms and one temporary room as others sat under trees to study. When rains came children would mix in other classes and learning would stop there and then which forced parents to take their children to well constructed schools.
At this time World vision which started working in Ntwetwe Sub-county in 2008 had one of its focus areas being education using the (CVA) Citizen Voice and Action approach. School Management Committee members and head teachers of all primary schools were trained in their roles and responsibilities using the CVA approach. After this training SMC members came up with action plans to improve service delivery in their areas but nothing yielded in Kiryanongo for the next three years. Following the three stages of Citizen Voice and Action, enabling Citizen Engagement was done by the CVA team of Ntwetwe AP where citizens and leaders of Kiryanongo community were sensitized in the UPE/ Education Policy, later a community gathering was conducted at the school in January, 2014 and the action plan below was drawn. Activity one was to hold a parents’ meeting to mobilize materials for the construction of more classrooms. By this action plan each household in the area had to contribute 100 bricks or pay 10,000/=. To realize this, the SMC members and the local council leaders joined hands to move house to house mobilizing and collecting the materials and money. At least 10,000 bricks, 5 trips of sand and 5 trips of hard core were brought to the site.

Action plan drawn after the community gathering in January 2014

World vision as a development partner sat with the then Ntwetwe Sub County council and agreed to support in the construction of more classrooms in Kiryanongo Primary School. In this partnership three classrooms with an office and one latrine block were constructed at the school.

Former structures of Kiryanongo P/s by 2013

Temporary classroom One of the old permanent blocks

Fallen in latrine block Later parents tried to construct
A small latrine

Provision of a water tank has changed the life of children in the school. Children used to miss lessons and travel long distances looking for water but now there is stability as the tank provides water all the time when children are at school.

The situation in Kiryanongo has greatly changed and improved with the construction of a new permanent classroom block and a pit latrine with support from World vision Ntwetwe AP which were completed by March 2015 and handed over in May 2015.

The new classroom block The new latrine block

The school enrolment has steadily increased as per the table below and staffing has moved from 3 teachers to 9 teachers. The school status which had dropped to P.5 was re-instated to P.7 with effect sfrom 2014 as parents brought back children.

2013 70 60 130
2014 122 118 240
2015 124 132 256
2016 160 159 319
2017 186 201 387

Due to increased monitoring by the SMC and improved relationship between teachers and parents performance also kept on improving. Parents contribute money for monthly examinations and teachers give weekly tests for continuous assessment which has led to improved performance. The results indicated in the table below translate tremendous change for a rural school like Kiryanongo where P.7 had completely failed.
2012 00 01 03 01 03 01 09
2013 00 04 04 02 02 00 12
2014 00 01 04 03 02 00 10
2015 00 08 03 03 05 01 20
2016 00 04 03 01 01 00 10

The deputy head teacher says children buy
The school treasurer happily says uniform because they study in a clean that parents now contribute willingly as they environment.
love their school.

The functionality of the SMC has created a conducive teaching and learning environment in the school. They are friendly to their teachers as they visit and sit with them in joint meetings to discuss issues pertaining to welfare and performance. This has resulted into teachers enjoying staying at school working and showing high cooperation amongst them.
We have enough teachers who attend school Girls’ stay in school has improved due to
Daily, teach well and are friendly says The presence of good latrines separate
Basiita Kenneth a pupil of P.6 For both boys and girls says Nanyonjo
Winnie a pupil of P.7

I don’t want to miss school daily because washing hands after using the latrine has
Everything is attractive, says Bayija Robert improved sanitation and reduced illnesses
A pupil of P.7

Teachers enjoy teaching in clean and conducive classrooms and have embarked on making instructional materials to improve learning because the classrooms are strong and safe as indicated below.

There are reasons why Kiryanongo has had steady improvement in enrolment, performance and functionality of the SMC. The major one is the use of the Citizen Voice and Action approach bringing service providers and users in one forum to discuss issues affecting the school. The second one is the promotion of dialogue in parents’ meetings where parents are given opportunity to talk, identify gaps themselves and make informed decisions making implementation a collective responsibility. Social accountability where income and all collected items are read in general meetings and defaulters are pinned by fellow parents is a useful practice tested and recommended. Holding planning and evaluation meetings where they set targets and measurements at various stages through periodical monitoring done by the SMC as they allocate roles for themselves, is another practice that has proven suitable. I recommend that schools where parents, and community participation is still facing a challenge, should read the story and pay a visit to Kiryanongo P/s or call 0772-416328 or 0773674128.

As a head teacher of this school l appreciate what has been done because the status in which l found the school was really alarming but it has greatly changed. I wanted to run away when l had just come to this school but l knew change was possible through patience and now l don’t want to leave the place because it is conducive. Most of these changes have come when am seeing and involved.
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