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School Administration, Parents Clash Over Money

Saabani Irumba, a parent who had two candidates in the school, says that he paid Shillings 260,000 as demanded by the school but was shocked when the school only took one of his daughters to UNEB claiming the bus was full. Irumba’s daughter, Sophia Karungi, says that she tried to board the bus but Byaruhanga told her that it was already full, adding that those already on the bus would represent them.
07 May 2019 16:14

Audio 4

There is a stalemate between the administration of Nyankwanzi High School in Kyenjojo district and parents following the cancellation of the 2018 Uganda Certificate of Education–UCE examination results.  

In February, Uganda National Examinations Board– UNEB withheld the results of 110 candidates from Nyankwanzi High School for alleged exam malpractice. Consequently, UNEB summoned the school administrators, affected students, and other stakeholders to appear before its Security Committee to give their side of the story.  

In March, the school head teacher, Josephat Byaruhanga, called the parents of the affected students for a meeting. They resolved that each student pays Shillings 130,000 to cater for their meals, accommodation and other related expenses of the affected candidates in Kampala.

   

Parents became suspicious when Byaruhanga took 69 of the affected students leaving 41 behind without any explanation. Upon arrival at UNEB, the students were tasked in vain to explain why they had similar answers in Mathematics and Geography. It was concluded that there was collusion leading to the cancellation of the results of 109 students.  

One of the students managed to explain himself prompting the examination body to release his results. The Director of Studies, Julius Saturday, says the UNEB hearing ended at 8pm and students were immediately asked to board the bus back to school where they arrived at 2am.

Andrew Kasesa, a student who attended the UNEB hearing, says they were only given Shillings 2,000 from the Shillings 130,000 their parents paid. But no lunch or supper was provided. Upon their return to the school, Byaruhanga told the students that he would notify their parents on the way forward in a week’s time but has since gone quiet and disappeared from the school.     

As a result, the parents and affected students have now come out with a string of demands. Those who went to UNEB want a refund of Shillings 80,000, saying the money they paid wasn’t fully utilized while those who didn’t go are also demanding for a full refund.     

The parents are also demanding that the school meets part of the cost and allow the students to repeat the senior 4 class. Saabani Irumba, a parent who had two candidates in the school, says that he paid Shillings 260,000 as demanded by the school but was shocked when the school only took one of his daughters to UNEB claiming the bus was full.  

Irumba’s daughter, Sophia Karungi, says that she tried to board the bus but Byaruhanga told her that it was already full, adding that those already on the bus would represent them.

 

//Cue in: “Kampala akagyayo Sarah…   

Cue out… turayerwanaho obukirasoboka.”//    

  

Margaret Kabasinguzi, another parent says she got angry when her daughter, Monica Kemigisa told her that they weren’t given any meal on their journey to the UNEB offices. 

Kabasinguzi now wants the school to refund part of the money she paid to allow her to take her daughter to another school.  

 

//Cue in: “Nyowe Kemigisa akangabira…

 

Cue out… answer nabwo tibakagibaineho.”//    

Enid Kemirembe, another parent says that the school blocked their children from studying the first term claiming there was no space and that it was already late for them. 

She wants her son to repeat S.4 from the same school and wants the fees slashed because the school is equally to blame for the mess. 

//Cue in: “Omwaka gwona omwana…   

Cue out… enkaba nka million.”//     

Byaruhanga wasn’t at the school when our reporter went there to seek his comment on the story. The School Director of Studies, Julius Saturday was the one in charge. 

He explained that Byaruhanga has since been asked to leave office to pave way for an audit because he is suspected of misusing funds.    

Saturday also said he can’t commit to paying back the parents or making special arrangements for the affected students because the school has no records of how the money was spent.  

//Cue in: “He’s responsible…

Cue out… for auditor’s report.”//

He confirmed that the school declined to in the students for first term because it was too late when the results were cancelled. Saturday explained that since the students were under the Universal Secondary Education–USE programme, which doesn’t cater for repeaters, they will have to pay at least Shillings 90,000 each as school fees when they turn up for second term.  

When contacted on phone, Byaruhanga denied misusing the money. He instead said that his plan with parents was to collect Shillings 15 million but he ended up with only Shillings 8.9 million, adding that he was forced to use his own money.     

He however, unable to answer when asked how much he added and how he spent what he collected. The Kyenjojo District Education Officer, Gertrude Tibankanya, said they will act once the auditor’s report is out.