Gasenyi II basic school experiences serious lack of desks

At Gasenyi II Basic School located in Gihosha zone of Ntahangwa commune in the north of Bujumbura, pupils in many classes sit on the floor while studying.

At Gasenyi II Basic School, pupils study sitting on the floor

Six classrooms at Gasenyi II Basic School have no single desk. Some others have very few desks compared to the high number of pupils. Seating on the floor and in disorder, pupils try to study with difficulty. The teacher cannot control them.

It’s on Thursday at almost10 a.m. in the third year classroom. Over fifty pupils are learning Biology. A group of five pupils are playing and chatting in the back of the class. Some look weak and tired while others are asleep. The class is not clean and so are some students.

“It is very difficult to teach pupils who are sitting on the floor. They become tired quickly,” says Estella Ntahomvukiye, a teacher in the third year at Gasenyi II basic school.

She adds that pupils have difficulty when writing. “We fear that this may cause them spine problems in the long run,” she adds.

“We do our best so they can understand lessons despite these difficult circumstances,” says the teacher adding that the situation is likely to cause students’ failure.

“We get tired when we study sitting on the floor,” says a pupil in the fifth year at the same school adding that they can hardly take notes.
“We need at least 180 desks for the six classrooms,” says Jean Claude Ntihabose, principal of Gasenyi II basic school. It is a problem that has existed since the past two years, he adds.

He says pupils cannot study well whereas they put their copybooks on the floor to write.

Mr. Ntihabose adds that the school has a big number of pupils, the reason why they need many desks.

“We have reported the problem to the competent authorities in vain,” says the school principal.

He calls on the government and donors to provide the school with desks, infrastructures and teaching materials.

Alexandre Nikiza, the representative of parents at Gasenyi II basic school says their children study in very critical conditions.
He calls on the government to give the school enough desks so their children can study in good conditions.

The Director of Education in the Municipality of Bujumbura says he is aware of Gasenyi II basic school situation. “Desks are being made and will be sent to the school soon,” he adds.

Over 1800 pupils study at Gasenyi II basic school which has only 13 classrooms.

It’s not the first time that lack of desks is reported in Burundian schools. In March, Karurama II basic school located in Cibitoke province was reported to have shortage of desks and high numbers of students.
Between five and seven pupils were reported to be sitting on one desk made for two students and others were sitting on the floor.