MBARARA DISTRICT, Uganda
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has hailed the outstanding work done by religious institutions towards the promotion and betterment of the education sector in Uganda.
He made the remarks this afternoon at Mbarara Junior School in Mbarara Municipality where, as chief guest, he presided over the school’s celebrations marking 108 years of its existence since 1911 when it was founded by the Church of Uganda.
Addressing thousands of celebrants, the President used the occasion to commend the Church of Uganda, the Catholic Church, the Islamic faith and Pentecostal Churches for supplementing government efforts in the education sector through founding and supporting several educational institutions in the country.
He thanked the leadership of Ankole Diocese for the good leadership and stewardship of Mbarara Junior School that has enabled the school to expand and increase its enrolment from 600 pupils to 1800 pupils to date. He also hailed current Headmaster of Mbarara Junior School, Mr. Nathan Mugume for the excellent managerial skills including honesty, frugality and corruption free service that, he said, has enabled the institution to develop, expand and utilise properly the school funds from parents and government.
The President also commended the Ministry of Education and Sports, under the leadership of the 1st Lady, Hon. Janet Museveni for transparent, open and all-inclusive management style that has enabled the Ministry to solve many challenges that had characterised and negatively impacted on the Ministry and on the learning environment.
Mr. Museveni who had earlier laid a foundation stone for the construction of the school’s centenary building that will, among others, house the vocational training centre, thanked the old boys and old girls for raising substantial funds towards the construction of the school’s centenary building. He pledged Shs.200 million shillings towards its construction and made cash payment of Shs. 20 million towards the installation of the school’s CCTV security system to enhance its security.
Regarding shortage of classrooms, teachers’ accommodation and other learning needs in schools, the President reminded Ugandans that the NRM Government decided to work on the basis of prioritization of development programmes because resources are never enough. He said that for the past one decade, government had prioritised and registered great strides in the road and energy sectors.
He added that as regards the education sector, the plan is to have a government primary school in every parish, government secondary school in every sub-county and a technical institute in each constituency as well as enough accommodation for teachers in those schools.
He, however, stressed the need to revisit the handling of the tendering process in the Ministry of Education and Sports as far as construction of schools is concerned. He noted that a lot of resources are wasted due to the current tendering process, which in turn increases construction costs.
State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. Chrysostom Muyingo, who represented the Education and Sports Minister, Hon. Janet Museveni, revealed that Mbarara Junior school is among the top five primary schools in the country that perform brilliantly. He attributed the school’s success to participation of all stakeholders in the management of the school namely the Church, parents, old boys and girls and teachers.
Mr. Muyingo, on behalf of Mrs. Museveni, said that Mbarara Junior School had managed to achieve a lot because of the quality of citizens that the institution has been producing for the labour market. He urged them the school never to ever to allow anything divert it from the outstanding positive course of action.
Ankole Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Sheldon Mwesigwa, commended President Museveni and the NRM government for the recent enhancement of teachers’ salaries noting the move will better teachers’ welfare and performance. He equally appreciated the good leadership of the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni, that has, among others, addressed Primary Leaving Examinations’ malpractices by by ensuring fair competition among schools country wide. He reported that schools under Ankole Diocese have registered excellent performance both at Primary and Secondary education levels.
Mr. Nathan Mugume, the current Head Teacher of Mbarara Junior School, attributed the growth and good performance of the institution to the well-rooted Christian values, cooperation between the school management and teachers, good learning environment and support by the Ministry of Education and Sports.