KANDUME – Grade 10 and 11 learners at Kandume Combined School are being taught under trees weeks after their makeshift tent classrooms were damaged by a windstorm.
The learners are also faced with a lack of teachers for crucial subjects such as commerce and English since the beginning of the new academic year.
The dilemma at the school has been compounded by the revised education curriculum, which has seen the addition of a Grade 11 class.
The number of learners at the school has also tremendously increased, according to teachers. Learners were this week seen attending lessons under trees at the school entrance while another class was being taught at a sport field.
The head of department, Bonifatius Iyambo, said the school is busy constructing a classroom block with zinc sheets with the assistance of the community, in order to accommodate three Grade 10 classes as well as learners in Grade 11.
Iyambo says it is the first time the school faces such a predicament, and extended his appreciation to parents undertaking the construction work voluntarily. But he said he was equally worried about the performance of learners, especially those in Grade 11 who will want to advance to tertiary institutions.
“These learners have greatly missed out, considering that we are going midway into the first trimester, and they are still without teachers. Some subjects have never been taught,” he lamented.
According to Iyambo, the directorate of education in the region only advertised two teaching positions, while the school has a backlog of five teachers.
“It is still a shortage, basically there isn’t really much help to improve the situation,” he added.
The school is further plagued by a lack of furniture since last year, a situation that has compelled learners to bring their own chairs to classes.
“We have tried seeking assistance but still to no avail. The school is also without a lab that is affecting learners in terms of doing practicals especially in biology, chemistry and physical science. We fear this might have an impact on the overall performance. With the help of the community we are in the process of building a library, and upon completion we will consider building a room for a lab,” said acting school principal Jason Nyambali.