Twenty schools in Butagaya, Buyengo and Budondo sub-counties in Jinja district have been closed down due to lack of licenses and poor structures in a sweeping crackdown that was carried out in the area on Monday.
Schools like Good Shepherd Primary School, Busengura Primary school, Pure Angels Primary School and others were found in what officials said was a “very sorry state”, and Elia Kisambira, the district inspector of schools, who led the operation said that the crackdown will continue until all schools acquire licenses.
“I am going to carry out these operations until all unlicensed schools are closed,” said Kisambira.
The inspector, however, faced challenges in his operation — for instance, at Good Shephered, the proprietor Patrick Kibikyo, said he was going to reopen the school since he did not know Kisambira’s role.
“Who are you, what is your name? If you have refused to introduce yourself to me I am going to show you that I can open this school because you do not know who I am,” said Kibikyo.
At Pure Angels Primary School, whose roofing is grass, pupils were found sitting in dust, and the school has an enrolment of about 700 pupils.
After observing the situation, Kisambira told the pupils to “go back home and inform your parents to look or you other schools and that Pure Angels is closed. From today I do not want to see anyone here.”
Parents who were presented at the schools, however, were unhappy with the decision.
“You are here closing our schools and not building new ones yet they even perform better than government schools,” one of the parents said.
It should be noted that government had promised to close all unlicensed schools at the beginning of this year, though a private school owners association condemned the move, saying that it was government that had delayed the process of issuing licenses to schools since most of them had applied.