KABALE. The Principal of National Teachers College Kabale, Mr Benjamin Turyahikayo, has said the poor physical learning environment occasioned by leaking asbestos roofing and cracked walls is hurting the learning environment at the college.
Mr Turyahikayo was on Friday speaking during the 8th graduation ceremony at National Teachers College Kabale, where 1,137 students were awarded diplomas in primary and secondary teacher education.
At least 20 students were awarded first class diplomas and 714 received second class upper.
Mr Turyahikayo also said insufficient capitation grants and lack of staff houses are major challenges at the college.
“The college buildings were put up in 1970s and currently they are in dire need for rehabilitation. It was hoped that the college would be supported, rehabilitated and equipped accordingly under the World Bank programme since 2009. But the project implementation was very slow and ended after completing the needs assessment phase only,” Mr Turyahikayo said.
“Besides being the centre for quality primary and secondary teacher education in the country, the national teachers college has continued to produce teachers in areas considered critical for the development of our country, like science, mathematics, Kiswahili, early childhood development and yet its physical environment has remained in a poor state with leaking asbestos roofing and cracked walls,” he added.
Mr Turyahikayo said despite the poor learning environment, the college has continued to churn out graduates with First Class and Second Upper Class diplomas.
He appealed to the government for the increment of students’ capitation grant from the current Shs1,800 to at least Shs3,000 per day in order to cover the four meals for the students (breakfast, lunch, evening tea and supper).
Mr Turyahikayo said the Shs1,800 capitation grant does not only cater for the students’ meals but also for purchase of scholastic materials, general maintenance, repairs to equipment, administration and other expenses.
He also said the college is short of teaching and learning materials and appealed to government for assistance, especially in provision of equipment for science subjects and related textbooks.
“I also pray that National Teacher College Kabale be assisted to get appropriate means of transport like other national teachers’ colleges such as Kaliro, Muni and Unyama to assist in transporting students for field studies and inter-institutions games,” Mr Turyahikayo added.
The Vice Chancellor of Kyambogo University, Prof Eli Katunguka, presided over the graduation ceremony.
The Minister for Education, Ms Jessica Alupo, who was the chief guest, pledged government commitment to address the challenges raised by the college principal.
Hepatitis B is caused by the Hepatitis B virus. It affects the liver. The disease is a major cause of death in Uganda.
It is responsible for an overwhelming 70 per cent of the cases of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer in Uganda.
There are about 3.5 million people living with chronic Hepatitis B virus in Uganda, which is about 10 per cent of the population.
Karamoja, West Nile and Lango sub-regions are worst affected with prevalence of 25 per cent.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor