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Uganda: Death of a Public School

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Elimu (Education Forum)' started by MaxShimba, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

    Jul 8, 2009
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    F. Womakuyu
    7 July 2009

    Kampala — OVER the years, Uganda has seen the demise of many of its public schools. Below are some Kampala schools that have been forced to close to pave way for private investments or have been hit by land controversies in the last 15 years.

    Shimoni School
    Shimoni Demonstration School and Shimoni TTC were established in 1954 by Asians and taken up by the Government in 1972.

    In 2006, the school and the college were relocated to Kololo Primary in Kampala and Nyondo PTC in Mbale respectively to pave way for the construction of a hotel.

    Three years later, no developments have been made and part of the land has been turned into a car washing bay and parking yard.

    Buganda Road P.School
    Founded in the early 1930s by an Indian family as Norman Gordino, Buganda Road became a government-aided school in 1972, becoming one of the best in academic performance.

    In early 2008, the school's management committee accused Kampala City Council (KCC) and the Uganda Land Commission of having illegally sold part of the school playground and the teachers' hostel to JIMA Properties - a private investor - to construct a hotel. Though KCC and the Uganda Land Commission deny the claims, sources say the land title had already been transferred.

    Bat Valley Primary
    It was founded 50 years ago by an Indian charity, Shree Sanatan Dharma Mandal (SSDM). The Ugandan Government took it on but shortly leased it back to the charity for 49 years.

    In 2007, SSDM laid claim to the school. Parliament dismissed the claims, saying the 49-year lease expired on November 1, 2006 and the institution, with about 1,500 pupils and over 60 teachers, is government property. However, the Indians have not given up and are determined to repossess it.

    Kitante Primary School

    It started in 1968 by a joint effort between the British and the Uganda Government. The school has also had its share of controversies in the recent past. In 2006, President Museveni reportedly gave a signal to the Uganda Land Commission to apportion part of the land to an investor to construct a private hospital. The parents mobilised funds and fenced off the land.

    Nakivubo Blue, Nakivubo Settlement
    The two schools have been in the news following proposals to merge them, and give way for the construction of a taxi park. The former local government minister, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, had earlier stated that since Nakivubo Settlement had few pupils, it should be relocated to Nakivubo Blue.

    But recently, President Yoweri Museveni directed city mayor, Nasser Ntege Sebaggala, to halt any such plans, arguing that the children of the poor will suffer. The two schools serve children of ordinary city dwellers like vendors and boda boda cyclists.

    Nakivubo Blue is said to have been built in 1954 to serve Asian pupils. Nakivubo Settlement, on the other hand, was built for Ugandans who worked for white settlers to help them master the English language.

    Ministry's position
    Aggrey Kibenge, the education ministry spokesman, says the ministry is just a stakeholder. The power to manage schools is through the decentralisation programme and the Government which allocates land through the White Paper. "All the stakeholders, including the ministry, participate.

    We are just part of the decision-makers but our decision can't override that of other ministries," Kibenge says. He adds that for every school demolished, the Government will construct a new institution to cater for the pupils