Chereponi Jilma D/A School in dire need of infrastructure


The Jilma D/A Primary School in the Chereponi district of the North East Region is in dire need of infrastructure to resume operations, eight years after the existing structure’s roof was ripped off by the rains.

According to residents, roofing sheets on the only school in the Jilma community were destroyed by heavy rainfall in 2015 and nothing has been done by state authorities to fix the damage – leading to closure of the school and subsequent destruction of desks and other teaching and learning materials.

Currently, schoolchildren from Jilma are compelled to walk about 14 kilometres (km) per day to access educational infrastructure at Ugando due to the lack of schools in the community, a situation that has been linked to poor performance of the children as they usually get to school tired.

Some parents have lamented about their fear of dangers posed to the little ones, who have to walk seven miles to school and the same distance back home daily.

While some 617 schoolchildren have persevered in walking such a distance to access education on a daily basis, about 470 others have dropped out of school because of the close-down.

A resident of Jilma, Moses Bimpor, in an interview with B&FT expressed worry about the distance these schoolchildren have to cover before accessing education, and the risk involved due to the current state of security in the area.

“It is sad to say that the people of Jilima for the past eight years have been denied this opportunity. Almost all the school-aged children in Jilima do not benefit from quality education as a result of lacking school infrastructure, trained teachers, and teaching and learning materials,” he said.

Most teachers in the school at the time sought transfers and left for different schools, as it was impossible to carry out academic activities.

The residents of Jilma believe that if nothing is done, urgently, the future of these children could be shattered – and they are therefore appealing to government and philanthropists for assistance in the necessary infrastructure’s provision.

It is important to underscore that the first batch of Jilima D/A Primary School is part of final-year students in Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country under the Free SHS programme. The community members saw the school’s presence as a major game-changer, but unfortunately that was short-lived.

If government is keen on meeting the targets it signed up to under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – especially SDG-four, which seeks to ensure inclusivity and quality education for all to promote lifelong learning – then it must act with alacrity to address the challenge in this deprived community.

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