St. Francis Namilyango Hillside Set to Celebrate its 10th Anniversary on Saturday

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Because he was always open to his fellow teachers and the school administrators, even when he started the school in the same cell of Namilyango, his former employers did not take it as a big deal, they also rendered him support.

Pupils always wear a smile while at school compound.

Starting a business like a school is one of the hard tasks, but maintaining it to celebrate its fifth birthday is another hurdle which has failed many to overcome.

It’s therefore a reason for St. Francis Namilyango Hillside Day and Boarding Primary to celebrate a landmark of ten years.

Located at Gulama-Namilyango Cell in Goma Division in Mukono Municipality, St. Francis Namilyango Hillside was founded by Deogratious Ssemanja, a professional teacher in 2012.

Having started teaching at St. Thereza Namilyango Girls Boarding Primary School and taught there for 15 years, Ssemanja says his intention was clear from day one, to gain experience on how the nuns of the Little Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi run the prominent Catholic Church founded schools.

“I served as a teacher holistically and paid much allegiance to my headteacher and other school administrators. As a humble servant, I learnt each and every bit of how the Reverend Sisters juggled over different hardships in the school administration for the 15 years keeping the school on top,” he said.

Teachers busy training for Saturday’s concert at Le-Kasa Gardens Kauga in Mukono town.

He says that at the right time in 2012, he decided to fulfil his long awaited heart desire, when he moved on to start his own school.

Because he was always open to his fellow teachers and the school administrators, even when he started the school in the same cell of Namilyango, his former employers did not take it as a big deal, they also rendered him support.

The school which started in a very humble background in a residential house, it currently boasts of a number of high-raised buildings which accommodate classrooms and accommodation facilities for the boarding school learners.

Ssemanja accords the development of St. Francis Namilyango Hillside in the ten years to his trust in God that has seen the latter grow to greater heights.  For that effect, the school has its motto, “Before God, I Lay my Future”.

Pupils at school waiting to go for training as they are prepared for the concert at Le-Kasa Gardens Kauga in Mukono on Saturday November 18, 2023.

Among the principles Ssemanja learnt from the Little Sisters at St. Thereza Girls Boarding Sisters at Namilyango, was how to handle and value both the parents and the pupils.

He says the school mastered the art of identifying each and every pupil’s talent and it is therefore doing so well in the field of Music, Dance and Drama (MDD). When it comes to sports, the school is also doing so well.

Pupils speak out

Sharuwa Jemimah Nsamba is one of the few pupils who are also celebrating a decade at St. Francis Namilyango Hillside, having started with this school in Baby Class.

Sharuwa Jemimah Nsamba, one of the pupils who have spent 10 years at St. Francis Namilyango Hillside right from Baby Class.

Sharuwa is one of the happy candidates who sat for their Primary Seven final exams of Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) this year 2023 and she is proudly waiting for the results.

“I am so contented and happy with St. Francis Namilyango Hillside because I very well know that come January 2024, the results will come back when I will be among the celebrating candidates with a super first grade, as the order of this school for the past ten years has been,” she says.

One of the classroom blocks.

Though it’s the order of the day for the pupils to leave school back home after writing their final PLE paper, Sharuwa says she found it hard that she was leaving behind her supporting and lovely teachers who nurtured her from Baby Class to P7.

When it comes to her director, Mr. Ssemanja, Sharuwa says she found a parent away from her mother and father all in the school director.

“He loves us (pupils) so much and treats us all as his biological children. That parental love bonds us to him and the school at large. I am therefore thankful to him for having nurtured me into the person I am today, as I get out of the school gate back home,” Sharuwa passionately said.

Deogratious Ssemanja, school director.

Babirye Catherine Nassozi says unlike other schools, St. Francis Namilyango Hillside offers its best to the pupils including feeding, whereby they take milk as the Ministry of Education recently recommended and a special meal which they have on every Sunday.

Babirye says the school is God fearing and she in particular singled out teacher Sharon who has been taking them through prayers and mass on every Sunday.

The school, St. Francis Namilyango Hillside.

Mary Ndagire says the teachers at St. Francis Namilyango Hillside are so caring and dedicate time to enable the pupils to discover their hidden talents.

Justine Nakato says apart from the caring teachers, the school also has a serene environment away from the commotion of the town, which enables them to concentrate on their books.

Teachers praise the school for celebrating 10 years

Maria Annet Nakanyiga, a Primary Four class teacher, says the school director takes care of the entire school including the teachers and pupils.

Elizabeth Nakagiri says she has spent more than 10 years teaching at St. Francis and she has seen it grow from A to Z. Nakagiri says St. Francis is a school of difference which has impacted over hundreds of learners in the ten years it has been in existence.

St. Francis Namilyango Hillside keeps happy and lovely teachers.

Ann Nyakecho, is another teacher who also has a cause to thank God for counting a decade at St. Francis Namilango Hillside.

Betty Nantalo says she cannot thank God enough for being part of the story of St. Francis Namilyango Hillside of ten years.

The school has therefore organised the ten years celebrations which will be in the form of a concert where the pupils and teachers will be able to showcase their talents.

The concert is organized at Le-Kasa Gardens at Kauga opposite ku Kyentaawo on Kampala-Jinja Highway. November 18, 2023, on Saturday is the D-day for the long awaited big event.

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