19 February 2019

Uganda: Parents Protest Coexistence of Schools and Universities

Parents of Spire Road and Naranbhai primary schools, both government-aided located in Jinja municipality, are protesting the continued coexistence of the schools with universities.

This, the parents say, is because most university students are skimpily dressed, kiss and hug their colleagues in full view of their children who are minors, a trend they fear might erode the pupils' morals.

Currently, Makerere University Business School (Mubs), shares premises with Naranbhai Primary School, while Makerere University Jinja campus is in close proximity with Spire Road Primary School.

Jinja municipal authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the primary schools, allowing the universities to renovate and use some of the schools' buildings.

This was after reports that pupils' enrolment and performance had reduced in both schools.

The Spire Road Primary School head teacher, Mr Mike Mwoya, said the university, which is using two classroom blocks of the school, plans to fence off the school so that the pupils don't mix with university students.

No representative from Naranbhai Primary School was willing to speak to Daily Monitor and instead referred this reporter to municipality education officials.

The Jinja Municipality principal education officer, Ms Amina Mutesi, said her office is yet to formally receive any complaints from parents against the character of the university students.

"Parents should instead embrace these universities because they have a multiplier effect. Students no longer travel far to access both levels of education," she said.

The Jinja District education officer, Mr Paul Baliraine, said when a primary school coexists with a university, it inspires its pupils to study harder in order to reach that level.

When contacted, the Director of Mubs, Jinja Campus, Prof Jockey Baker Nyakaana, referred to parents' accusations as 'lame'.

The State Minister for Primary Education, Ms Rosemary Seninde, said as a ministry they were not informed about parcelling out part of land belonging to the two schools.

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