Pictorial: Colourful as St. Francis Namilyango Hillside marks tenth anniversary

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Parents, friends and well-wishers turned up in big numbers to celebrate the ten years of St. Francis Namilyango Hillside Day and Boarding Primary School.

Held at Le-Kasa Gardens at Kauga in Mukono Central Division, Mukono Municipality on Saturday, the function was characterised by a number of presentations by the pupils, right from Baby Class to Primary Seven and the teachers too.

Apart from the parents, the colourful function was graced by a number of education stakeholders including officials from Mukono Municipality let by the municipal inspector of schools, Olivia Bulya, headteachers led by the chief guest, Susan Wamala Sserunkuuma, the head of Primary Schools headteachers in Mukono diocese. Wamala also heads the Mukono Municipality headteachers’ association.

The director Ssemanja shaking hands with some of the teachers who have taught at his school for the last ten years.

The school director, Deogratius  Ssemanja exhibited a gesture that the ten years the school has been in existence, it has concentrated on rendering education services that includes fighting illiteracy and skilling the young ones other than creating enemies in the field of education.

As a matter of fact, he invited a number of headteachers and school directors from the nearby schools and they also turned up in person.

Pupils playing the keyboard and the saxophone.

They include; the director of Seeta Parents Primary School, Anna Njuki, Mayanja, the director of Jesjonny Primary School, the headteacher of Nsambwe Church of Uganda Primary School, Henry Kityo, the headteacher of St. Cyprian High School Kyabakadde, Joseph Kamya, Our Lady of Africa Senior Secondary School Mukono Campus headteacher, Paul Kasumba, among others.

Some of the nursery pupils entertaining the guests.

The day was started by matching pupils in company of their teachers from the school premises at Gulama-Namilyango through Seeta town to the venue in Mukono town, led by the brass band.

The parents who were enthusiastic about watching their children presenting different items on stage made it at Le-Kasa Gardens before 10:00am, which was the official starting time for the concert.

Pupils making a presentation.

Referring to the pupils’ presentations, Bulya, the Mukono Municipality Schools inspector said if all schools were giving attention to co-curricular activities the way St. Francis Namilyango Hillside exhibited, her work would be simplified.

“Imagine, also children as young as Middle Class have presented gorgeous items not only to my amusement and also to their parents. It’s unfortunate that schools today think Music, Dance and Drama is a waste of time, hence concentrating on academics which is not right,” Bulya said.

Olivia Bulya, the Mukono Municipality inspector of schools speaking.

She added; “Hope parents you bear me witness, it’s what we are seeing here, when a seven-year-old pupil can play a keyboard, drums and other musical instruments that the Ministry of Education has put emphasis in the lower secondary education curriculum. Let schools borrow a leaf, letting children identify and facilitate growth of their hidden talents,” she said.

Mayanja, the director of Jesjonny Primary School speaking as the headteacher of Our Lady of Africa Senior School Mukono, Paul Kasumba together with his students looking on.

The day was categorized with a number of items including songs of original composition, contemporary dances, poems, traditional dances, among others.

While parents were still praising how talented their children were, the teachers went on stage with a song named Teacher, where they ably sung with melodious and balanced voices, danced, leaving everyone in the audience cheering, clapping and others flowered the teachers with money, a token of appreciation.

The anniversary building which is under construction.

Clad in corporate wear, with a pink blouse and a black trouser for both male and female teachers, they praised a big role played by the teachers alongside a number of challenges as they lay a strong foundation for the young ones.

At the same function, the school unveiled an anniversary building, which is under construction that the guests and parents willingly contributed for its finishing.

A pupil playing a keyboard while singing.

The school also launched its music album which parents got copies at a cost, as another mode of supporting the school on the construction project.

The school director, Ssemanja thanked God who has protected him and guided him from the day he started the school in 2012 to date, having gone through a lot of thin and thick.

With a skit and song sung by the pupils, reflecting about the situation which was at the school over five years ago when one of the dormitories caught fire, leading to the director’s arrest, Ssemanja said it was all God who saw him through that challenging situation.

School director Deo Ssemanja (right) and his wife Dorothy Ssemanja (second right).

“I thank those parents that stood with me and our school at large, even during that trying time! Having put your shoulders for me to lean on, it’s the reason I managed to walk through to where I am today,” he said.

He singled out a few teachers who have walked the journey together with the school for ten years, saying they are part of the history.

Teachers making one of their presentations.

“I have trusted God so much that where I would get stuck, we always knelt down and prayed and when we registered success, we were also thanking God. Jesus has therefore not forsaken me and the entire school community. Join me to thank God for the decade we have registered today,” he said.

Ssemanja promised the school that after walking the ten-year’s journey with them, he is also not ready to leave them behind because the school’s future is also brighter.

Susan Wamala Sserunkuuma, the guest of honour speaking as the director, Ssemanja (right) looks on.

The day’s chief guest, Susan Wamala conducted the function of graduating the Top Class pupils who were elevated to Primary One come next year.

Wamala said St. Francis Namilyango Hillside is one of the few private schools which develops an all-round child, not only handling academics but also skills development.

Wamala (left) presiding over the graduation of Top Class pupils.

“As a headteacher who is also in leadership, I move around all schools, private and government, but there are not very many schools which can do what St. Francis Namilyango Hillside is doing to your children. Playing instruments the way they have exhibited before all of us, that is so unique, I am therefore imploring the director to continue with that same spirit,” she said.

The school director, Deo Ssemanja and his wife Dorothy.

The function was also attended by Mukono Municipality Mayor, Erisa Mukasa Nkoyoyo, Mukono Central Division chairperson, Robert Peter Kabanda among other guests.

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