By Musa Sabir

Odravu Cope School in Dadamu Sub County, Arua District is struggling to operate amidst numerous challenges including understaffing of trained teachers and inadequate classrooms.

A classroom block in Odravu Cope Primary School in Arua District

The school currently has an enrolment of 1350 pupils, forcing the lower classes to be merged and sit outside under trees to attend lessons.

The school Acting Head Teacher, Charles Acidri attributes high dropout of learners to shortage of classrooms.

‘‘this shortage of classrooms affect children in such a way that, there is high drop-out rate particularly during rain seasons or when there is severe sun heat’’ Charles states.

He continued that: ‘‘the number per class is supposed to be about 50 – 55, so if you take that number, there is need for more classrooms’’

Pupils learning in a make shift classroom at Odravu Cope Primary school

According to the School Management Committee Chairperson, Milton Dramani, they only depend on UPE grand to address the challenges due to poor response from community.

The school now receives an estimate of 5,000,000 shillings which the school uses to fix some of the necessary needs at school.

Teachers at the school

There are only 2 trained teachers at the school; the Head Teacher and his Deputy. The number of teachers at this school is now 7, after some of them left the school.

And all the teachers, including the trained are not on payroll.

Lodovick Arindu, one of the Teachers who joined the school last year after completing A-level of education is now assisting to teach children at the school despite the challenges faced.

He says, ‘I do not have a specific class and a specific subject, I can teach anything where I have the idea and knowledge’

Government to intervene

However, Arua District Education Officer, Marino Acia reveals that, plan are underway to address the challenges in all cope schools of the district (including Odravu Cope School).

He says, in the next academic year, trained teachers will be deployed at Odravu Cope School and more classrooms block will be constructed.

The school only has a 3 classroom block constructed under NUSAF in 2013 for upper classes and a dilapidated structure which also houses the offices.

Odravu Cope School started in 1998 as a Complementary Opportunities for Primary Education (COPE) with the purpose of giving children who didn’t have chance to attend formal education.

This is the 4th year the school is presenting candidates for Primary Leaving Examination. End