Maracha – Maracha district education officials are in scarcity trap, to equitably distribute school learning materials, provided by Ministry of Education during COVID-19, lockdown period.
The District Education Officer, Osoa Flavia sounds a shortfall alarm recently in taskforce meeting, saying more materials need to be produced.
“Materials we have received are not enough. We need to produce more If our children are get adequate learning” the DEO asserted.
Ms. Osua was briefing the district taskforce, on Ministry of Education’s learning arrangements during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period.
According Ms. Osua, the district only received 398 booklets for ordinary level for enrollment of 2227 students in the district, leaving a shortfall of 1829 copies.
The district received only 120 copies of both Humanity and Science packages of learning materials for Advanced level classes yet the number of students surpasses the statistics of the scripts.
Maracha district’s senior inspector of schools, Mr. Henry Anguamgbu wonders the mathematical formula that would be used to best distribute the insufficient learning materials. Much of his worries laid on the distribution of primary school Learning materials, accepting that only nursery schools were well covered.
“I don’t know how the materials will be distributed. For nursery schools, the materials are enough but we only received 70 copies for some primary school classes” Mr. Anguamgbu lamented without specifying which class was that most at disadvantage.
Exploring possibilities from the district COVID-19 taskforce, the inspector calls on support for the educational program.
“Am worrying if there are support given to other areas, if there are donations, I would be happy to receive assistance for the children” Mr. Anguamgbu expresses his interest.
He was targeting assistance towards facilitating photo copying the inadequate materials to increase the number.
Meanwhile, Red Pepper discovers on tracing distribution of the materials that some sub counties received barely less than a dozen copies scripts, for the two advanced level classes, regardless of number of learners in the area.
Nyadri Sub County for instance, received 3 copies of both Science and Humanity scripts for Senior Six, 3 Copies of the same subject scripts for Senior Five.
In ordinary level, the sub county received a total of 46 booklets.
The Sub County Chief, Henry Aliti, received the materials and later distributed to headteachers and local council chairpersons within catchment areas.
He notes receipt of 18 booklets for Senior one, 15 for Senior Two, 8 for Senior Three, 5 for Senior Four,
Angels of Nursery schools were blessed with 350 booklets which the chief asserted enough for two institutions in the sub county.
Another disadvantage descended on the three Primary Schools in the sub county which received only 222 booklets for P1, 276 booklets for P2, 156 booklets for P3, 240 booklets for P4, 60 booklets for P5, 48 booklets for P6 and 30 booklets for the candidate class.
Contrary to a common man’s understanding that the learning materials would be given to school, it was area LC chairpersons responsible for collection.
“Each parish received two copies, one of arts and another of Science booklets for advanced level which is kept at a primary school with the area” Chief Aliti explained.
He stressed that Midria Primary School serves as a centre for Robu parish, Nyoro Primary for Pabura parish and ‘Baria Primary for ‘Baria parish.
Mr. Aliti disclosed that though most of Primary school material are distributed local council chairpersons, some few copies are kept at schools for well wishers to photo copy.
Mr. Aceku Lawrence, headteachers for Nyoro primary school in Nyadri sub county of Maracha district expresses dissatisfaction over the mode of distribution of the learning materials.
He claims besides insufficiency, the materials are entrusted in the hands of people whose capacity to safeguard the booklets, is in doubt.
” The materials are not enough, for instance, in my school, 8 copies have been given to 80 pupils in P7″ Mr. Aceku cites.
“Some LCs can’t take good care of these materials due to lack of facilitation which they demanded should have been provided. Others are likely going to sell out copied of the booklets, as the public is aware of the scarcity and that people mistake the materials for leaked examination papers” the Headteacher explained.
He notes that institutions of learning would be the best custodians and distributors of the materials as the LCs are bound to be bias to only consider either their own children or favour their keens, leaving out others at disarray.
Mr. Aceku observes need for instructors to help the learners at some areas, service which other LCs and parents unable to provide. He says the learners might get discouraged and discontinue when faced with tough questions.
Besides the limited materials causing congestion at learning points at home Mr. Aceku, notes that children who miss out, might also lose interest in education.
He says some materials might end up being used as toilet paper in latrines or for setting charcoal fire in the Kitchens.
The Headteacher calls for use of another method to keep learning active during the COVID-19 pandemic era.