Bridge International Secures Extended Interim Court Order

2271 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Isaac Walukagga described the latest statement by the Education ministry as contempt of court orders as matters relating to the closure the schools have been halted.

The high court in Kampala today postponed hearing of a petition filed by embattled Bridge International Academies (BIA) to September 22nd.
BIA is seeking an order to restrain the directive by Ministry of Education to close all its campuses over lack of minimum operating standards.

An application which was supposed to come up this morning at the Civil Division before Lady Justice Patricia Basaza Wasswa never materialised as the Attorney General (respondent) had no representative in court.

The court advised BIA to serve court another application to allow an extension of the validity of an interim order issued on August 10th restraining the execution of the Ministry's directive.

In a letter dated July 25th, Dr. Rose Nassali Lukwago, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education issued a directive requiring closure of BIA campuses across the country over scorned syllabi, lack hygiene and employing unqualified teachers.

On August 30th, the ministry again issued a press statement emphasising that schools belonging to Bridge International close forthwith until they have complied with "basic requirements and minimum standards for schools in Uganda."

When contacted, Isaac Walukagga the lawyer representing Bridge International described the Ministry's statement as contempt of court as matters relating to the closure of the schools have been halted.

//Cue In: "Unfortunately that is……...
Cue Out:....our courts of law."//

Section 35 of the Education Act mandates the Ministry to close education facilities that don't meet the minimum operating standards but BIA is arguing that this wasn't done within the precincts of the law.

On the August 5th, however, the Ministry issued a temporary halt to the closure of the schools to enable children sit for their end of second term exams.

The letter further directed the entire district Local Governments to relocate over 12,000 pupils to surrounding government schools to continue with their education.  The same letter was written to all Chief Administrative Officers and copied to the Inspector General of Police. 

In the press statement Dr. Nassali reaffirmed that, "Bridge International Schools shall remain closed with effect from the end of term two until they have complied with the Ministry's requirements and the law."

Bridge International is a limited liability multinational chain profit-making private company rendering low cost education services with 63 rough-and-ready nursery and primary schools in Uganda and more than 350 others in Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Asian countries.
They are supported by the World Bank; Pearson, the world's largest for-profit education company; Pan African Investment Co., and billionaire education philanthropists Bill Gates and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg among others.