Kabarole Community Schools, A Shadow of Their Past

1921 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Musinguzi says that some of the teachers were recalled by the district education department and transferred to Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools.

Several community schools in Kabarole district, that were once admired for bringing quality learning services to the community are no more.  Some of the schools have closed while others are struggling to survive, leading to their deterioration and poor standards.
Some of the affected community schools were founded by churches and Tooro Kingdom, and handed over to the community to manage. One of such schools is Kisomoro Community Secondary School in Kisomoro Sub County.
The school with a population of 700 students was constructed in 1940s by Tooro Kingdom, under the reign of the late Sir George Rukidi, the King of Tooro Kingdom. It has educated more than 20,000 students in the Tooro region.

However, the school is at the verge of closure due to its appalling condition.  Students are taught in mud and wattle classrooms. The school lacks a latrine, library and has inadequate text books for students. Gerald Kasigazi, the head teacher Kisomoro Community Secondary School says that it's the parents and former students who provide funds for the school.
He says the funds are used for paying the salary of teachers and purchase text books. Kasigazi, says that if the school isn't assured of funding they will not open next year. 

//Cue in: "the text books are few..."

Cue out: "...not enough money."//

Another prominent community school in ruins is Mukubo Primary school in Karambi Sub County. Wilber Musinguzi, the head teacher says that in the past two years, the student population has dropped from 900 to 450 due to the poor conditions at the school.

Musinguzi says that some of the teachers were recalled by the district education department and transferred to Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools.  He says that shortage of teachers has forced lessons to split the school into the morning and afternoon shifts. 

He adds that they are currently seeking financial assistance from parents and well-wishers to purchase furniture for classrooms.  Beatrice Mugenyi, a parent says that community schools shouldn't be left to waste. 

She wants the government to provide funds for the schools, since parents find it hard to send their children to government schools which are far away from their homes.

Patrick Rwakaikara, Kabarole education officer says the district stopped funding the community schools because they didn't meet the criteria set by government. He states that some of the criteria include a school should have more than five acres of land, permanent structures and more than 15 teachers.

Rwakaikara says that the schools should seek support from Non-Governmental Organizations.   

Last year, President Museveni directed the Ministry of Education to scrap private secondary schools from implementing the government free education system. Museveni argued that the Shs53 billion spent on private schools can be used to construct 88 government schools annually in 243 sub- counties.



About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.