"The management is accused of selling school property and making students to stay in rented lodges in Soroti town".
Students of the East African Civil Aviation Academy (EACAA) in Soroti are still residing in lodges, fifteen months after management took them there as a short term measure to enable renovations at the school take place.
The students of the school commonly known as Soroti Flying School have been staying in lodges around Soroti town including Kijuala Gabana Lodge and Bar, which is ten meters away from Sixers Tena Discotheque, a popular hang out located on Market Street.
The lodge has been sub-rented to the school by a local businessman, Martin Othieno.
Another group of students stays in Garden Guesthouse, which is owned by Charles Elasu the Soroti district NRM chairman. Both businessmen have declined to comment on the deal they entered into with the school.
Godfrey Okuron, the Guild President of Soroti Flying School says the students have stayed in the two lodges since March last year when the management decided to close the dormitories to give way for renovation of the school. He explains that the management had initially told them that they would be able to go back to their dormitories by 30th May but they reneged on the promise as the contractor is yet to finish the work.
Okuron explains that the students are picked daily from the campus by the school bus and dropped back to the lodges for the night. He however says the students have not had any major complaints about staying in the lodges.
Students of Soroti Flying School pay 14,000 US dollars for flight engineering and 18,000 dollars for a pilot course while the least expensive course is flight operations, which goes for 2,400 US dollars.
Flight Capt. Mike Mukula, the MP for Soroti Municipality and an old student of the academy blames the problem on the school board of directors. Mukula says the board should be replaced to restore the glory of the school as a center for excellence in East Africa.
Mukula says the board has illegally sold off a number of school property. He also faults the management for opting to rent lodges for the students instead of using the same money to improve the school. He notes that never in the history of the school have students stayed in lodges.
Mukula explains that the students, who were supposed to train using a Cessna 310 plane, are now redundant since the plane was taken for repair and will be brought back in September.
Bernard Wandera, the acting director of the school has declined to comment on the story.
The East African Civil Aviation Academy was established in 1971 to train pilots and aircraft Engineers for the East African market.
The certificates from the academy are recognized by education regulations all over the world.
soroti flying school