The Ministry of Education and Sports has listed immediate and long-term measures aimed at restoring a proper and convenient study environment at Salama School of the Blind. This comes a day after fire gutted the girl’s hostel at the school on Monday night claiming the lives of eleven pupils as well as injuring seven others.
Five of the pupils are still hospitalised. On Tuesday, the State Minister for primary education, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu listed six measures, which include the immediate restoration of the damaged property using an emergency fund, providing spiritual support to the learners, counseling teachers and learners, registration of the boarding section and the permanent deployment of security guards as well as including the school facility grant in the next district budget.
Kaduchu tasked the district education department to handle the counseling of learners and teachers, saying that the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary will handle the issues that require direct funding. According to Kaduchu, with the measures set, parents should trust the school with their children again.
“For you the parents, I am humbly appealing to you, not to go back with your children back home. I want you to leave the children here, I am not forcing you. I am reaffirming our commitment to you that will ensure the safety of your children as I have told you the measures we have put in place that we are going to effect immediately,” the minister said Tuesday.
The School Head Teacher, Francis Kinubi appealed to the ministry to expedite the implementation of the measures as a way of consoling the school from the tragedy. He notes that over time, the government has been making empty promises to the school.
“We were promised braille and audiobooks as well as more structures but despite reminding the responsible authorities nothing has been forthcoming,” he said. Ketty Lamaro, the Permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education advised the head teacher to resubmit the requirements, which have been pending for some time, saying they will be catered to depending on what they have in their resource envelope.
She also noted that the ministry shall assist the school to go through the proper channel of registering the boarding section once it meets the required standards. Mukono Chief Administrative Officer, James Nkata earlier informed the minister that the boarding section at the school operates illegally since it has never been inspected and registered.
Kinubi noted that they had no option given the nature of their learners who cannot assist themselves and can’t commute from home on a daily basis. Rex Shan, the Chairperson Board of Advisers for Sense International, which is responsible for organizing the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Anne together with her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence notes that the committee is yet to decide whether the princess will have to maintain her planned visit or cancel it. The Princess was expected in the country starting from Tuesday, October 25th to Friday 28, 2022.