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Opposition blames govt’s ‘ineffective school inspection’ for school fires


Opposition blames govt’s ‘ineffective school inspection’ for school fires

Remains of the 11 victims of the school fire that gutted Salama school for the deaf in Mukono

The opposition has lashed out at the government over its failure to conduct thorough school inspections in order to enforce adherence to safety standards that help guard against incidents such as school fires and therefore protect learners.

Reacting to the recent school fire that left 11 blind children dead at Salaama school in Mukono, the secretary general of the National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED) party Asuman Odaka argued that the school inspection program is no longer in existence due to bad governance in the country.

Last week fire gutted a girls’ dormitory at Salaama School for the Blind in Mukono district killing 11 girls and leaving a several more wounded.

Odaka said since 2018 over 66 schools have been gutted with fire and lives and property have been lost. He adds however that no official investigations reports have been released to address the possible causes.

He expressed worry that these continuous unfortunate acts are likely to undermine the country’s education and subsequently the future of the next generation.

“When we were growing up and going to school, I remember one particular inspector of schools that is Fagil Mandy. When I was in Tororo, he came to our school, he would even sit down with us and eat the kind of food we were eating, Fagil Mandy, the man would come and sit in class, what happened to Museveni’s inspectors of schools? Why are Ugandans paying taxes to pay inspectors in this country who never turn up? There is a problem,” complained Odaka.

Calling on Ugandans to demand for accountability from the authorities over the continuous losses, the party spokesperson Moses Matovu said despite instituting specific guidelines to avert fire outbreaks in schools, the ministry and security authorities have been reluctant to enforce them.

Matovu says many of the schools in the country have no safety measures as required per the ministry of education guidance issued shortly after the inferno in Buddo Junior Primary School in 2008 when 20 pupils died.

“The authorities said that all schools must have fire extinguishers, secondly that our children and teachers should be trained and should be given elementary skills on safety/how to escape fire outbreaks and also while constructing the school buildings/structures, they should have some escape routes…., however as we talk now these guidelines are not in place… why??? the inspection in school is not done, the inspectors are being paid even the health inspectors are paid but they are not doing their work, I think if the inspection of these schools was effective, I do not think we would be having such fires at that magnitude,” Matovu concluded.



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