Neat Environment for Better Education: Hanse- Himarwa
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture encourages schools to maintain and keep hostel and school infrastructure neat to assure good performance.
Speaking to The Villager, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse- Himarwa said school said a child will only perform better academically if their learning environment is neat and they themselves are clean.
“You need to have self-pride in yourself and your environment, this will influence your performance in school. This starts with the environment you live in, which is the responsibility of my ministry and school administration” Hanse- Himarwa said.
She added the whole education system needs renovation and a very large scale of construction has to be done to create enough space to accommodate every child, including hostel infrastructure to which serve as accommodation for school learners.
To recent reports made stating that government hostels have poor infrastructure, Hanse- Himarwa said broken windows, dirty walls scribbled with permanent ink, ceilings that are about to collapse and light bulbs that have been non-functional for years are the results of vandalism and aging of infrastructure.
“Most of our school buildings were built in the pre- independence era and now this buildings are starting to deter. So far since taking over the ministry I have visited 5 or 6 six and I have seen the poor infrastructure at some schools and of course those facilities need infrastructure” she said.
Hanse- Himarwa said although there is a high need for infrastructure development in the whole education sector for all its facilities, the resources to carry out the development are not sufficient.
“Even though we get the largest bulk of the national budget, 75% of the money allocated to the sector goes to the education personnel throughout the country and we are only left with 25%, which has to cater for all the other projects within the whole sector, including infrastructure development” she said.
She added that since the universal free education system at primary level has been implemented the number of learners at the school have increased drastically and aside from renovation, they have to construct more educational buildings.
“I am faced with a challenge at hand, since the population growth has also contributed to overcrowding in schools and now there is a huge need to construct more educational facilities like hostels, schools, libraries, laboratories including administration blocks” she said.
Hanse- Himarwa stressed that regions in the north where learners have to walk long distances are at popular demand for the need of infrastructure development.
“Mostly schools in the north- east and north- western parts are in the need of hostel construction to host the learners who are in the remote areas, far away from schools” she said.
She further says maintenance is the easy way out in ensuring that buildings last for longer without trembling. “I have been to schools where filth is to be seen everywhere, it is an eyesore. School administration should not only rely on the government, they must make sure the environment is neat and cleaned regularly” she said. She added that she is aware of cleaners not doing their work and added that laziness is unacceptable.
by Donald Matthys