Education Authorities Condemn, Ban 160 Schools from Reopening

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Masaka City authorities have condemned 160 schools and ordered them not to resume operations for the new term, next month.

According to a circular written by Stephen Kakeeto, the Masaka City Education Officer, the affected schools have been declared illegal and are not allowed to open for classes when the first term starts on February 5th.

The list comprises 117 nursery schools, 38 private primary schools, and 5 private secondary schools which according to Kakeeto were found operating illegally in both Kimanya-Kabonera and Nyendo-Mukungwe City divisions respectively.

The proprietors of the affected schools have also been served with warning notices that bar them from opening up and admitting students for classes.

The circular indicates that the affected schools do not meet the basic requirements and minimum indicators for education institutions as required by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

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According to Kakeeto besides the lack of qualified teachers, standard classroom spaces, and furniture, many of the schools do not have basic sanitary facilities, hence exposing the learners to serious health risks.

He explains that the majority of the affected schools were either found to be operating in wooden makeshift shades or squeezed into people’s homes, which makes them unconducive for learning.

Kakeeto adds that on their inspection tours, they also established that some of the schools had hired primary seven and secondary school dropouts to work as teachers, hence compromising the quality of education.

He further indicates that they earlier issued warnings to the administrators of the listed schools to put things in order, but they remained adamant, thus the need to crack a whip on them.

“For the safety of the learners and to ensure quality of education, these schools will not be allowed to open. Should any of them defy the order, we shall have them arrested and prosecuted accordingly,” he noted.

The circular has also listed 119 private primary schools, 46 private secondary and 79 nursery schools that were found to have met the set education standards. “The parents are advised to only enrol their children in those schools that have the requirements to avoid suffering losses,” he adds.

Latifah Nansamba, the Secretary General of the Association of Private Schools Proprietors in Masaka, said that the list of condemned schools has come as a surprise, arguing that the affected directors would have been given ample time to fix the gaps.

She indicates that their association leadership is going to engage the Masaka City Education Officer to forge a way forward other than forcing people out, yet they are also making a great contribution to the country’s general education sector.

“These schools need to be helped to gradually improve to meet the required standards. We should not just clamp them down,” she noted.

Story by URN

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