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Students sleep in dining hall for social distancing

Boarding students at Mothamo Junior Secondary School in Moiyabana village are forced to sleep in a dining hall to comply with Covid-19 regulations due to insufficient hostel accommodation.

While the new arrangement is hoped to relieve the students of the dormitory congestion at the hostels, some parents have expressed concern that sleeping in the dining hall may not be the ideal solution.

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, congestion at the dormitories was still a major concern with twelve students sharing beds meant for eight people.

Intake at Mothamo JSS is from 12 villages surrounding Moiyabana and the school has 391 girls and 349 boys.

A member of the Parents Teachers Association who preferred not to be named for fear of victimisation hinted to The Voice that about 47 boys sleep in the dining hall.

She said although the intention was to follow social distancing guidelines, the school authorities also took the decision to get female students to share beds for their safety. “It was not safe for the girls to sleep there because the windows and the doors are broken. At the same time we fear that their health is compromised. We were told the ministry would bring a caravan to resolve the challenge and we are still waiting. It is very cold here and some of the students are from poverty stricken families and they do not have enough blankets to keep them warm,” she said.

When reached for a comment the School Head, Willie Okatswa, said it was a temporary measure but later admitted they have a challenge of accommodation.

He said they have 36 dormitories for girls and 27 for boys.

He noted that the Ministry of Basic Education was aware of their situation and that they have promised to assist.

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