Hamis Kabogoza, a parent with three students at the school told URN that he received communication about the closure of the school on Tuesday evening. He, however, says that he only believed the letter upon arrival at the school on Thursday morning.
There were tears,
frustration, and anguish at East High School Ntinda on Thursday afternoon as parents, and guardians turned up
to pick their children following the abrupt closure of the school days after reopening for a new term.
Many parents dropped their children at the school early this week only
to get a notification a few days later
that it had been closed. Several parents turned
up at the school in disbelief about the turn of events while others thought the communication doing rounds on social media was just a prank.
Kabogoza, a parent
with three students at the school
told URN that he received communication about the closure of the school on Tuesday evening. He, however, says that he
only believed the letter upon arrival at the school on Thursday morning.
“I had completed all the process of returning my
children to school. I paid to
zero balance for the three
children and returned home with peace of mind. Now see, the term is already
on and my kids don’t have a school. Now we
must go school hunting,” said Kabogoza.
Robinah Ali Namuggwe, another parent, wondered why
the school administrators opened for a new term when they were not sure whether
they would be able to teach the children or not.
//Cue in; “Kuba kati ebintu…
Cue out…am not happy.”//
Parents aside, students were also thrown into
sadden closure of the school only a few days after
reporting and attended some lessons since Tuesday. Fahad Ssemakula, a
Senior Two student notes that he had switched his mind
to studies after the prolonged school closure
only to be told that they must find new schools.
//Cue in; “Am so disappointed…
Cue out…my school fees.”//
To candidates, the closure hit them hard as they are now pondering their next move. Hilda
Liyong, a Senior
Six candidate, said that they
are worried that they might take time to get admission
since many good schools usually don’t admit candidates.
//Cue in; “It has really…
Cue out…for UNEB.”//
Aisha Namuli, a teacher, notes that two weeks after
school reopening, the
headteacher called to convince her to leave the job she took on during the lockdown and return
to class. She now regrets why she left
her new job to return to a school managed by unserious and inconsiderate people.
Namuli says that to the surprise of many teachers, the school
administrators have up to now not communicated to the teachers officially on the new developments.
//Cue in; “I just feel bad…
Cue out…what comes next.”//
Ali Mugerwa, another teacher says
that the trouble for the school began
in 2020 when the former director sold it off to city businessman Omar Mandela amidst financial challenges triggered by the
prolonged closure of schools. He notes that right from the short-lived
learning period in 2021, things started to change when
the new management hiked
the tuition and cut the salaries of all staff.
Although the reason for the abrupt closure of the school
remains unclear, a circular issued to parents indicates that it was closed due to the poor turn up of students and the need to renovate it. “On
behalf of the B.O.D (board of directors) I regret to inform you that business
at East high school has been
put on a halt to facilitate the new development before resumption in the next
academic year,” the circular signed by Abdul
Khadir, one of the Directors
reads in part.
However, the Deputy
Principal, Bosco Khalifa gave another reason altogether for the closure of the school in an interview with URN. Khalifa,
who claimed that his bosses will extensively explain the matter noted that the new
management is going to restructure the
school and turn it into a modern only girl’s school.
“This place is going to
be completely changed. The new
management wants to
establish a girl’ only
school. However, the establishment of such a school requires time to set up. But more information on this will be shared by
the directors,” Khalifa told our reporter before chasing him off the school
Although the director had advised parents to enrol their children in selected
schools, several parents who turned up on Thursday afternoon to pick their children rejected the
offer and instead the school
for a refund of their tuition and other requirements, which the administrators agreed to.
The parents noted that the abrupt
closure of the school is
another indication of the government’s failure to
control private schools leaving them to do whatever they like. Christopher
Lwanga, one of the parents asked the
ministry of education to put up
strong policies regulating the closure of
//Cue in; “But now abruptly…
Cue out…help Ugandans.”//
As parents picked their children from the school, the agents of other schools that had set up tents
at the main entrance offered them admission
on the spot. Schools such as St
Julian Gayaza even brought buses
to offer transport to learners who would enrol at their school.
East High School Ntindawas established in 1998 as
a joint venture by headteachers from traditional schools including Hajj Abbas
Kawaase Mukasa, the former headteacher Kibuli SS; Badru Lubega Waggwa, the
former headteacher Gombe SS,
Ali Mugagga, the former headteacher Gombe SS; Aisha Lubega, the former headteacher
Nabisunsa Girls’ school and Muhamood Nsamba.
school which has been known for posting good academic performance is now one of the non-medical
casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic, which plunged the country into a financial distress.