Bridge Schools to Remain Open Until December 8

2950 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Embattled Bridge schools in Uganda will remain open until December 8, after securing an interim court order restraining government from closing its 63 campuses across the country. The stay of execution order dated November 14 issued by High Court deputy Registrar Muse Musimbi, will allow pupils in the academies to sit end of year exams and finish third term until when the main application is heard by the court.

Embattled Bridge schools in Uganda will remain open until December 8, after securing an interim court order restraining government from closing its 63 campuses across the country.

The stay of execution order dated Monday November 14 issued by High Court deputy Registrar Muse Musimbi, will allow pupils in the academies to sit end of year exams and finish third term until when the main application is heard by the court.

The injunction comes in the wake of closure of Bridge International Academies (BIA) in Uganda by law enforcement authorities implementing a November 4th High Court ruling.

High Court judge, Patricia Basaza Wasswa, ordered closure of Bridge schools after they were found operating in contravention of the law.

Lady Justice Basaza  held that despite the ministry of Education's efforts to engage the management of Bridge International Schools to address the inadequacies, they never took their advice seriously.

Bridge, through its South Africa-based ALN Associate Firm in a letter dated November 16th wrote to the Inspector General of Police criticising abuse of the interim order by police stopping closure of Bridge International Academies.

"The said Order was issued to maintain the status quo, which is keeping the schools open until the 8th December 2016 when the main application shall be heard by the High Court," the letter partly read.

They add: "We are now informed that police has disregarded the said Order and insists that our client's schools be closed as this is the order you issued as Head of the Force." 

On April 6 and June 10 respectively, the Directorate of Education Standards headed by Dr. Abdallah Mutazindwa halted the expansion of Bridge schools arising from concern over license, poor infrastructure, unqualified teachers, curriculum and teaching methodology. 

In response, Bridge filed an application on July 25 to reverse the Ministry's directive leading to the November 4th court ruling.

Bridge Legal Officer in Uganda Godwin Muhwezi, told URN that Bridge will remain open and continue engaging government in ensuring quality delivery and provision of education to the 12,000 pupils enrolled in the 63 Academies in the country.

Bridge is a private lucrative education service provider operating over 400 Pre-Primary and Primary schools in Africa and Asia. Its activities are financed by Bill Gates, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and World Bank among others.