Parents have been left stranded with their students after East High School Ntinda on Thursday 13 January 2022 closed the school premises just days after reopening for the new term which began on January 10, 2022.
Parents and guardians who turned up to pick their children following the abrupt closure of the school were notified in disbelief about the turn of events, while others thought the communication doing rounds on social media was just fake news.
While the reason for the abrupt closure of the school remains unclear, a circular issued to parents indicates that it was closed due to the poor turn up of students and the need to renovate it.
“On behalf of the B.O.D (board of directors) I regret to inform you that business at East High School has been put on a halt to facilitate the new development before resumption in the next academic year,” the circular signed by Abdul Khadir, one of the directors reads in part.
However, the deputy principal, Bosco Khalifa gave another reason altogether for the closure of the school in an interview with URN adding that his bosses will extensively explain the matter, noting that the new management is going to restructure the school and turn it into a modern girls-only school.
“This place is going to be completely changed. The new management wants to establish a girls-only school. However, the establishment of such a school requires time to set up. But more information on this will be shared by the directors,” Khalifa said.
Although the director had advised parents to enroll their children in selected schools, several parents who turned up on Thursday afternoon to pick their children rejected the offer and instead asked the school for a refund of their tuition and other requirements, which the administrators agreed to.
The parents noted that the abrupt closure of the school is another indication of the government’s failure to regulate private schools, leaving them to do whatever they like. Christopher Lwanga, one of the parents asked the ministry of Education to put up strong policies regulating the closure of private schools.
“Now, abruptly they said; ‘come for your money, we have closed the school.’ Who can do that? If you’re telling a tenant that; now get out of the house, am closing or I have sold the house, get out. Can that one happen, please, please, the ministry has to come in to help Ugandans,” Lwanga said.
As parents picked their children from the school, agents of other schools that had set up tents at the main entrance offered them admission on the spot. Schools such as St Julian Gayaza even brought buses to offer free transport to learners who would enroll at their school.
East High School Ntinda was established in 1998 as a joint venture by headteachers from traditional schools including Hajj Abbas Kawaase Mukasa, the former headteacher Kibuli SS; Badru Lubega Waggwa, the former headteacher Gombe SS, Ali Mugagga, the former headteacher Gombe SS; Aisha Lubega, the former headteacher Nabisunsa Girls’ school and Muhamood Nsamba.
The school which has been known for posting good academic performance is now one of the non-medical casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic, which plunged into financial distress.
Additional Reporting by Observer Ug