No School Facility, No Water, No Health Center, No Road: Run for Water Creating Opportunity of First Step to Lasting Solution

By Hawi Alemu

The fact that not all problems are actual problems, prioritizing is mandatory to bring about lasting solutions- the idea of curing the root causes not the symptoms.

This notion is even more effective in communities like Buluk where there are dozens of problems that are taking generation time without getting remedy.   Schooling is one of concerning problems of Buluk that needs priority –  for education

Is among best weapons the community has at hand that could have helped minimize crowd of troubles it has been suffering from.

Seid Wabe, Buluk School principal commented, “It has been 36 years since Buluk school is opened and I have been serving here for eight years but the school isn’t showing relative progress of its age. The worst thing is, it is cluster center for other six schools without being able to be self-reliant itself.”

It isn’t overstatement to say that Buluk School has nothing a school is expected to have to run even as a school.

“There are only 11 poorly constructed classrooms with 20 poorly assembled seats for 140 students in each classes. There is no adequate textbook and there are only 100 reference books in the school, there is no library even to store the existing books and no laboratory to give practical classes. So, It is impossible to deliver quality education without necessary facilities for 140 students in a class, which is over three fold of the national standard- 45 students in a class,” says Negeso Kasim, vice principal of Buluk School, looking in to my eyes being sure that I have understood what he is talking about.

Poorly constructed classrooms of Buluk primary school inside and out side

Poorly constructed classrooms of Buluk primary school inside and out side

Water problem is another major challenge that has been hindering the learning teaching process in Buluk School.

Negeso added, “As a pastoralist community, parents are forced to move to other places where they access water either taking their kids with themselves or just leaving them at home. Kids who move with their family dropout from school and those who left here specially girls take the role of their parents to raise their siblings and themselves. At these times, they miss classes and are do not get adequate time to study. What is more, drinking unclean water, students are missing classes and dropping out suffering from waterborne diseases to the level of death. Only this year one student died of cholera and many have dropped out.”

Negeso also stressed how water problem is hindering girl’s education along with other problems as awareness gap and poor economy especially at times of their monthly.

“I have dropped out at 5th grade as my father does not support me for he isn’t aware of the worth of education and he is economically poor. Still, as all of girls in my community, I have lots of at home responsibilities to take care of, I neither afford buying sanitary pads nor have clothe to change during my monthly – there is no water to wash what I have. So I am forced to miss classes and there are no books to borrow and atleast study at home. This is directly impacting my performance – I stood 25th out of 73 students in my class this year,” says Zeytuna, 6th grade student at Buluk with the tone of shame in her voice while talking about her monthly.

District education Education Head, Simyalew said that there are students who get rapped while travelling 8km and above to get access to the school.

The school that has failed to play its role of generating elites that could have eased its problems lasted over 36 years finally got intervention. An intervention that doesn’t only enable Buluk School get rid of its now problems but also empower it transform generation that take charge of its nation’s fate.