Schools reopening in Uganda: Many remain closed amid accumulated debts.

Schools in Uganda have finally reopened after 19 months of closure as a control measure to the spread of COVID19. In his new year message on 31st-December-2021, the president of Uganda announced that all schools will open this month.

The ministry of education last week issued a calendar for the staggered re-opening for boarders and day scholars. In most rural parts of the country however, schools have not reopened because of various reasons among which is accumulated debts, while others walked out of the education business and opted for other ventures. “In Luweero, over 10 schools that I visited were closed, some of these had accumulated rent arrears while other schools had been turned into rental houses”. NTV correspondent in Luweero Herbert Kamoga told High Sound for Children.

In Kabale, senior journalist, Solomon Lubambula tells us that four private schools failed to reopen on Monday following the nationwide resumption of studies. They are Rose Ville Preparatory Nursery and Primary School, Green Hill High School, and Kabale Community High school, all in the Southern Division, and Life Bridge Day and Boarding Primary School from the Northern division. In his visit to Life Bridge Day and Boarding Primary School in Rwakaraba along Kabale-Kisoro Road on Monday, it was discovered that part of the school had been turned into a bar.

At Roseville preparatory nursery and primary school in Kirigime, the school premises had been adjusted. The Director of this school, Rev. David Rurihoona says that the school was partly being supported by a non-governmental organization, which advised him to shut it down. Rurihoona says that he is now rebranding the premises to focus on another project he is still discussing with the donors. Moses Turyatemba, the Director of Kabale Community High school, says that his school was operating on bank loans.

According to Turyatemba, he turned the school into rentals for Kabale university students after realizing that he wouldn’t service the loans, which had continued accumulating interest. He explains that he also realized that even with the schools resuming, he didn’t have the capacity to maintain the school and pay teachers and support staff. In Sironko, at Soola Primary School, children returned to classes under trees. This is because the roof of the government-aided school was blown off in 2020. The staggered reopening of schools in Uganda started on 10th-January-2022 ending a long time of waiting when schools would resume.

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