Govt gives Shs5m each to families of Busia school fire victims

Kampala, (UG):- Families of the four pupils who perished in the fire that gutted a boy’s dormitory at a School in Busia District has received Shs5 million each to each from government to help manage burial expenses.

The Monday morning fire that broke out at Victory Nursery and Primary School in Busia Town also left one pupil injured, whose familiy has been given shs1m to cater for the hospital bills.

Ms Frances Atima, the director education standards at the Education Ministry revealed this on Wednesday, March 20, during the education exhibition at Kololo independence grounds saying the Shs21 million amount has already been dispatched to the families of the respective victims. 

“We shall also give others later after getting results from the hospital because some of the children were burnt beyond recognition. So, there was a need to conduct a DNA test on their parents to ascertain the bodies of their children,” Ms Atima said. 

She added that during inspection the school, officials discovered that the school was not authorized to run a boarding section and that most dormitories were over populated which might have partly caused the fire outbreak. 

“The conditions therein were really not good with poor ventilation, triple deckers, poor sanitation, among others and this particular dormitory had only one exit door,” she said. 

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According to her, one of the matrons deployed in the dormitories had never gone to any school for formal education. 

“So we agreed with the district leadership to have the dormitories closed because they were illegal and then probably allow them to operate as only a day school after other considerations are made,” Ms Atima said.

Meanwhile, the state minister for primary Education, Ms Joyce Kaducu has warned to close all schools that have failed to meet the minimum required standards set by the ministry. 

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“The school that does not meet the minimum standard, not even having any provisional registration must be closed. We cannot continue to lose the lives of our children because schools cannot meet the bare minimum requirement, especially boarding schools,” Ms Kaducu said.

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