Parents of Seeta High School are angry following the institution’s decision to send all students back home before the end of term.
According to the school Headteacher Bonniface Ssebukalu, they opted to send the students of S.1, S.2 and S.5 back home for a temporally break to enable the school serve as a UNEB marking centre.
Parents have been asked to pick their children on Saturday 24th April starting from 7am.
“This is a result of the ministry of Education and Sports directive to have all schools hosting 2020 UNEB marking to break of to give room for the smooth running of this exercise,” Mr Ssebukalu told parents in a 19th April notice sent to them via Whatsapp.
“Students shall report back to school on Monday 31 May, 2021 and complete their academic term as scheduled, at no extra cost,” he added.
However, according to the enraged parents, the school owner John Chrysostom Muyingo, who is also the State Minister for Higher Education lobbied in his interest so that he can get a share of the money being paid to schools that are going to be used as marking centre.
“He is a minister under the Education Ministry and its a conflict of interest for him to lobby in the name of his school. On top of that,government did not dictate to use the school for marking, its the owner who pushed to have it approved,” one parent who preferred anonymity told this website.
“We peasants struggled to raise the fees which they increased from Shs1.5 million to Shs1.8 million and amid Covid-19 challenges, we managed to take our children back to school. Now what has annoyed us is that hardly a month, they are telling us to pick them. Is that really fair? Hon. Muyingo has many campuses, please find a way of absorbing these children to those campuses to learn but not taking them back home,” he added.
Some parents have also threatened to stage a demonstration on Saturday.
Another parent by name of Isaiah Weboya has written to the Education Minister Janet Kataha Museveni to intervene in their plight.
Mr Weboya on behalf of other parents wants Ms Kataha to direct Seeta High to ensure that it doesn’t close by Saturday or find other schools to relocate the students at the institution’s cost.
“Find a way of shifting marking centres to other places such as hotels or Namboole to carry out that exercise,adjust the affected student’s study period to compensate the lost 5 weeks and the concerned school should cater for transport of students from school to their respective home and back to school when open,” Mr Weboya told the Education Minister.
See Mr Weboya’s full letter
Hon,Janet Kataha Museveni
Minister of Education
Dear Minister :
I am writing on behalf of the parents and children to express my disappointment concerning Seeta High school’s message sent to parents by whatsapp today notifying us to pick our children on Saturday 24th April 21, 2021. These children reported back on 5th April 21, 2021 its only16 days since then.
If there is any authority that protects the parents and school going children in Uganda it should come out and address this. We ask public education system to take immediate action by the Ministry of Education to equalize educational opportunities for all Ugandan children.
Am disturbed to learn that the Ugandan government chooses private schools where parents have paid their hard earned money in form of fees especially after covid 19 financial effects on a common man for better education to be used as marking centers for free.
These poor children have been home for over a year for the sake of S1s who even started on a new syllabus which is still a problem for many to assist the students at home.
This decision by seeta high school is going to severely affects the lives and futures of Ugandan children. They may drop out of school at three times the rate of those who are at school and are less to perform well in O,Leval after these interruptions .
Uganda has a fundamental duty to provide education without discrimination to all of its citizens, including those who are in private schools. As Minister of Education, I urge you to take immediate action to:
- Direct the said school to ensure schools don’t close by Saturday or find other schools to relocate these students at the school cost.
- Find a way of shifting marking centres to other places such as hotels or Namboole to carry out that exercise
- Adjust the affected student’s study period to compensate the lost 5 weeks .
- The concerned school to cater for transport of students from school to their respective home and back to school when open.
I request that you take all necessary steps to ensure that all children in Uganda enjoy the right to education without discrimination.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
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